Author Topic: The New, Virtually No-Nonsense Guide To Psions  (Read 238463 times)

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Saeomon

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The New, Virtually No-Nonsense Guide To Psions
« on: November 28, 2010, 04:08:24 PM »
Introduction
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
[spoiler]

Acknowledgments
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
crystalkeep.com
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.

Disclaimer(s)
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
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.
[/spoiler]

Glossary of Terms and Abbreviations
[spoiler]

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
[/spoiler]

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



A Breakdown of the Psion Class

Ratings Key
[spoiler]

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


A Look Under the Hood
[spoiler]

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.


  • No alignment restrictions
  • d4 hit die
  • BAB progression equal to a Wizard
  • Poor Fortitude Save
  • Poor Reflex Save
  • Good Will Save
  • 2 + Intelligence modifier skill points per level; x4 at 1st level
  • Special class features
    • One Bonus Psionic, Metapsionic, or Psionic Item Creation Feat at each of the following levels: 1, 5, 10, 15, 20
    • Psionic Powers
      • 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
    • The ability to gain, maintain, and expend your psionic focus
    • A psionic Discipline of your choice
    • A manifester level equal to your class level

    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.
    [/spoiler]

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

    Psionic Feats
    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
    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:
    Psionic Foci
    Psionic DisciplinesThe Psion may still learn any powers on the general Psion/Wilder power list, even if they are not of his or her Discipline.
    On Choosing a Discipline
    [spoiler]


    General Tips
    • The skills to which the Discipline gives you access.

    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:
    • 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
    [/spoiler]

    How Do Psions Fare at Key Party Roles?
    [spoiler]

    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.


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.

IntelligenceTransportation
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.

Healing
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.

Buffing
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.

Analysis
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.
[/spoiler]
« Last Edit: January 03, 2011, 09:44:57 PM by Saeomon »

Saeomon

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Re: The New, Virtually No-Nonsense Guide To Psions
« Reply #1 on: November 28, 2010, 04:08:45 PM »
Races and Templates for Psions

Ratings Key
[spoiler]

  • Blue: Very strong choices, but lacking in a measure of power.
  • Green: Good choices, but may not play to the strengths of the class.
[/spoiler]

Author's Note(s)
[spoiler]

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.
[/spoiler]


Naturally Psionic Races
[spoiler]

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.

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

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

Half-GiantsKalashtar (RoE) - Note:MaenadsSynads (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.

Unbodiedyour 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: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.
[/spoiler]

Other Races
[spoiler]

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: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: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 GnomesGnomes (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.

HalflingsHalf-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.

IllumiansException 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 HalflingsException: 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)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:Sun Elf (FRCS) - Note:TieflingsTinker 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:redWarforged (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
Alphabetical List of Templates
[spoiler]

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.
[/spoiler]



Skills for Psions

Ratings Key
[spoiler]

  • 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.
[/spoiler]

Author's Note(s)
[spoiler]

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.
[/spoiler]


Psion Class Skills
[spoiler]

Concentration (PHB, XPH, SRD)
Your most important skill. Do not skimp on this one.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.

ProfessionPsicraft
Egoist Discipline Skills
[spoiler]

AutohypnosisBalanceHeal (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.
[/spoiler]

Kineticist Discipline Skills
[spoiler]

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

Disable DeviceIntimidate (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.
[/spoiler]

Nomad Discipline Skills
[spoiler]

ClimbJumpRideSurvival (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.
[/spoiler]

Seer Discipline Skills
[spoiler]

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:red.

ListenSpot
Shaper Discipline Skills
[spoiler]

BluffDisguise (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 DeviceException 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.
[/spoiler]

Telepath Discipline Skills
[spoiler]

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.
[/spoiler]

Other Skills Worth Taking, Including Cross-Class Skills
[spoiler]

Any Trained Only SkillException:AutohypnosisBalance (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 MotiveSpeak 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.
[/spoiler]



Skill Tricks for Psions

Ratings Key
[spoiler]

  • 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.
[/spoiler]

Author's Note(s)
[spoiler]

Skill Tricks first appeared in CSco.
[/spoiler]


Interaction Skill Tricks and Manipulation Skill Tricks
[spoiler]

red for you. Exception: the Interaction Skill tricks are black for Telepaths.
[/spoiler]

Mental Skill Tricks
[spoiler]

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 AppraisalException 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.
[/spoiler]

Movement Skill Tricks
[spoiler]

red choices for you. Exception: these Skill Tricks are black for Nomads, so long as all the skill prerequisites are on the Nomad list.
[/spoiler]



Alternative Class Features (ACFs) for Psions

Ratings Key
[spoiler]

  • 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.
[/spoiler]


[spoiler]

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


Egoist ACFs
[spoiler]

Change ShapeTrue HealerException: 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.
[/spoiler]

Kineticist ACFs
[spoiler]

Energy SnapGreater Animator
Nomad ACFs
[spoiler]

Personal SpaceTemporal GraceException: if your DM rules that this only works on effects which specifically target your movement rate, then it is a black choice.
[/spoiler]

Seer ACFs
[spoiler]

Psychic KnowledgeFate PointsException: this ACF gives you two feats for the price of one if you are playing in Eberron, which makes it a blue choice.
[/spoiler]

Shaper ACFs
[spoiler]

TrinketsPersonal Construct
Telepath ACFs
[spoiler]

Telepathic CommunicationHarbinger


Racial Substitution Levels for Psions

Ratings Key
[spoiler]

  • 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.
[/spoiler]

Author's Note(s)
[spoiler]

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.
[/spoiler]


Alphabetical List of Substitution Levels
[spoiler]

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.
[/spoiler]
« Last Edit: December 05, 2010, 09:31:23 PM by Saeomon »

Saeomon

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Re: The New, Virtually No-Nonsense Guide To Psions
« Reply #2 on: November 28, 2010, 04:08:59 PM »
Feats for Psions

Ratings Key
[spoiler]

  • Purple: Excellent. Take these above all others.
  • Blue: Very good. Round out your build with these.
  • Green: Good. Worth fitting in if you can.
  • Orange: Below average. Unfortunately, many prereq feats fall here.
  • Red: Bad feats. Don't take these.
[/spoiler]

Author's Note(s)
[spoiler]



Aberration Feats
[spoiler]

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.
[/spoiler]

General Feats
[spoiler]

Armor Proficiency (any)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 DorjeGreat 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:Improved InitiativeImproved Precise ShotException: 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 ReflexesMartial Stance (ToB)
Quite a few of the stances provide better effects than any feat.

Martial StudyMartial 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 BodyMindsightpurple feat for your Psicrystal.

MobilityNote: 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 MindedParrying ShieldException: 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 ShotPower AttackException: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 ChargeNote: 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
Host Feats
[spoiler]

Note:
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.
[/spoiler]

Illithid Heritage Feats
[spoiler]

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

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

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

Illithid EnthusiastIllithid 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
Item Creation Feats
[spoiler]

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

Craft DorjeCraft 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:this is purple.

Craft Psionic Constructone 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 SealCraft 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:purpleScribe TattooException:converted it to 3.5. If your DM allows this material then this feat is blue.
[/spoiler]

Metapsionic Feats
[spoiler]

Burrowing PowerChain PowerDelay PowerEmpower 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: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 Powerbad 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:Stygian Power (CPsi)
Okay, if you take a lot of Stygian powers. Otherwise, not so hot.

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

Unconditional PowerException: for anyone with the Psychic Enervation feature, this is a blue feat.Widen Power (XPH, SRD)
Make those AoEs affect more enemies. Very good with Swarm of Crystals.
[/spoiler]

Psionic Feats
[spoiler]

Aligned AttackAzure Talent (MoI)
Bonus PP is always nice.

Body Fuelability burnException: 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: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 MeditationDeep Vision (CPsi)
Purely average.

Don MantleEctopic Form: Agile Loper, Alabaster Aerial, Amber Tunneler, Anathemic Carapace, Astral Aquan, Ebony Stinger, Emerald Gyre, Indescent SerpentException: 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: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 BodyFocused 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 SunderGestalt 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 PenetrationGreater 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 EnervationException: green for Psion/Anarchic Initiates, who get it for free.

Power PenetrationPower SpecializationPracticed ManifesterException 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 EnergyPsicrystal AffinityNote: 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
  • 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 FeintPsionic 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 TumblePsionic WeaponException: 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 MeditationNote: this is a prerequisite for the Meditant PrC.

Psychic RenewalPsymbiotException: 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.Exception 2:green for characters with that PrC.

Speed of ThoughtStygian 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 MantleUnavoidable 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.
[/spoiler]

Psionic Racial Feats
[spoiler]

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 ThundererMaenad FuryMaenad 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 CerityException: for gishes, this is a green feat. Take Xeph Burst, Extra if you take this.
[/spoiler]
« Last Edit: December 05, 2010, 10:24:48 PM by Saeomon »

Saeomon

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Re: The New, Virtually No-Nonsense Guide To Psions
« Reply #3 on: November 28, 2010, 04:09:11 PM »
General Psion (and Wilder) Powers

Ratings Key
[spoiler]

  • 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.
[/spoiler]


Level 1
[spoiler]

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.
[/spoiler]

Level 2
[spoiler]

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.
[/spoiler]

Level 3
[spoiler]

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.
[/spoiler]

Level 4
[spoiler]

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.
[/spoiler]

Level 5
[spoiler]

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.
[/spoiler]

Level 6
[spoiler]

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.
[/spoiler]

Level 7
[spoiler]

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.
[/spoiler]

Level 8
[spoiler]

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.
[/spoiler]

Level 9
[spoiler]

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.
[/spoiler]
« Last Edit: June 16, 2011, 10:51:08 PM by Saeomon »

Saeomon

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Re: The New, Virtually No-Nonsense Guide To Psions
« Reply #4 on: November 28, 2010, 04:09:26 PM »
Psion Discipline Powers

Ratings Key
[spoiler]

  • 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.
[/spoiler]


Egoist (Psychometabolism) Powers
[spoiler]

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

Animal AffinityChameleonDelay PoisonEmpathic TransferEctoplasmic 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 TransformationPsionic Revivify - Level 5 (XPH)
The best method to restore dead party members to life.

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

Restore ExtremityRestoration, 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.
[/spoiler]

Kineticist (Psychokinesis) Powers
[spoiler]

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

Control AirEnergy MissileEnergy 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 BallInertial BarrierEnergy 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 BufferNull 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
Nomad (Psychoportation) Powers
[spoiler]

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 AttackLevitate, 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, PsionicFly, 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 TeleportTeleport, 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 TravelEthereal Jaunt, Psionic - Level 7 (XPH)
If you need to be ethereal, this is fine.

Time Hop, MassTeleportation 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.
[/spoiler]

Seer (Clairsentience) Powers
[spoiler]

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

Clairvoyant SenseObject ReadingSensitivity 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 HandSecond 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 OneHypercognition - 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
Shaper (Metacreativity) Powers
[spoiler]

Astral ConstructAstral 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:Minor Creation, PsionicPsionic Repair DamageExceptions: 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, GreaterException: 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 CocoonBurrowing BondsFabricate, Psionic - Level 4 (XPH)
Make lots of stuff quickly. Another great utility power.

QuintessenceHail 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.

CrystallizeFabricate, 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 SeedGenesisTrue Creation - Level 9 (XPH)
Make anything. Permanently. You know you want to play god.
[/spoiler]

Telepath (Telepathy) Powers
[spoiler]

Charm, PsionicMindlinkAversion - Level 2 (XPH)
Can end some encounters in one shot.

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

Crisis of BreathEmpathic 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 InputDominate, 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, ThievingModify Memory, PsionicSchism - Level 4 (XPH)
Another power that breaks the action economy. Do more in a round than you could otherwise.

MetaconcertExceptions: for Thrallherds with psionic cohorts and/or followers, this power is blue.

Mind ProbeMind 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.
[/spoiler]
« Last Edit: December 03, 2010, 12:53:10 AM by Saeomon »

Saeomon

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Re: The New, Virtually No-Nonsense Guide To Psions
« Reply #5 on: November 28, 2010, 04:09:39 PM »
Prestige Classes for Psions

Ratings Key
[spoiler]

  • Green: Adds at a small measure of power or versatility.
  • Black: No better than taking levels in Psion.
  • Red: Bad choices, all the way.
[/spoiler]

Author's Note(s)
[spoiler]

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 AdaptationsOn 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.
[/spoiler]


Psionic Prestige Classes
[spoiler]

Anarchic InitiateBody LeechCerebremancer (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.

ConstructorException: 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.

CryokineticistredCrystal MasterDiamond DragonEbon SaintEctopic Adept (CPsi)
This PrC is redException:green.

ElocaterException: 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 PsychicredException: 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 MindMeditantMetamind (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 UncarnatePsychic AssassinPsychic TheurgeException: 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 MasterPyrokineticistException: 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 Variantsthree-level dip in either Acetokineticist or Sonokineticist a green choice under the base rules. Exceptions: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.

SangehirnShadowmindSoul ManifesterStorm DiscipleSubverted PsionThrallherd (XPH, SRD)
When does a PrC that loses 2 manifester levels and which has sub-par entry requirements get to be a purpleWarmindException: 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.

Wonderworkerred rating.

Zerth Cenobite
WotC-Suggested Adaptations to Non-Psionic PrCs
[spoiler]

Abjurant ChampionException: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 MageMindbender (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
Personally-Suggested Adaptations to Non-Psionic PrCs
[spoiler]

ArchmageDweomerkeeper (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.

FatespinnerJade Phoenix MageLoremaster (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


Equipment for Psions

Author's Note(s)
[spoiler]

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).
[/spoiler]


Useful Mundane Equipment
[spoiler]

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 CartsMasterwork 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.
[/spoiler]

Useful Magical Equipment
[spoiler]

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 AbilityRing 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.
[/spoiler]

Useful Psionic Equipment
[spoiler]

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 ReadingThe 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 AbilityPendant 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.
[/spoiler]
« Last Edit: December 23, 2010, 12:40:30 AM by Saeomon »

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Re: The New, Virtually No-Nonsense Guide To Psions
« Reply #6 on: November 28, 2010, 04:09:53 PM »


Ratings Key
[spoiler]

  • 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.
[/spoiler]

Step 1 - Ask Yourself: Do I Want to Be a Manifester/Something Else or Vice-Versa?
[spoiler]

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.
[/spoiler]


Step 2 - Ask Yourself: Does This Pair Well With Psion?
[spoiler]

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.

RangerRogue (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)
MAD.

Wizard
« Last Edit: December 06, 2010, 03:34:22 AM by Saeomon »

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Re: The New, Virtually No-Nonsense Guide To Psions
« Reply #7 on: November 28, 2010, 04:10:09 PM »
Builds

General Purpose Psion (Currently Levels 1-7)
Sources used: Core, XPH, CPsi
[spoiler]

Level 1
Feats:
Psicrystal Affinity (Level 1 Standard)
Psionic Talent (Level 1 Psion Bonus)
Psionic Body (Racial Bonus, if any)


Skills:Powers:
Matter Agitation
Vigor
*Open Level 1 Discipline/General Power*


Commentary:Level 2
Feats:
Psicrystal Affinity (Level 1 Standard)
Psionic Talent (Level 1 Psion Bonus)
Psionic Body (Racial Bonus, if any)

Skills:Powers:
Matter Agitation
Vigor
*Open Level 1 Discipline/General Power*
Grease, Psionic OR Entangling Ectoplasm
*Open Level 1 Discipline/General Power*


Commentary:Level 3
Feats:
Psicrystal Affinity (Level 1 Standard)
Psionic Talent (Level 1 Psion Bonus)
Psionic Body (Racial Bonus, if any)
*Open Feat (Level 3 Standard)*

Skills:Powers:
Matter Agitation
Vigor
*Open Level 1 Discipline/General Power*
Grease, Psionic OR Entangling Ectoplasm
*Open Level 1 Discipline/General Power*
Levitate, Psionic
*Open Level 2 OFFENSIVE Power*


Commentary:Level 4
Feats:
Psicrystal Affinity (Level 1 Standard)
Psionic Talent (Level 1 Psion Bonus)
Psionic Body (Racial Bonus, if any)
Overchannel (Level 3 Standard)

Skills:Powers:
Matter Agitation
Vigor
*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*


Commentary:Level 5
Feats:
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)*

Skills:Powers:
Matter Agitation
Vigor
*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*


CommentaryLevel 6
Feats:
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)*

Skills:Powers:
Matter Agitation
Vigor
*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*
Touchsight
Energy Wall


CommentaryLevel 7
Feats:
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)

Skills:Powers:
Matter Agitation Inertial Armor
Vigor
*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*
Touchsight
Energy Wall

Psychic Reformation Divination, Psionic
*Open Level 4 Discipline/General Power*

Commentary
Cerebremancer Build
[spoiler]

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)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
Conjuration
Enchantment
Evocation

Flaws
Noncombatant (-2 on Melee attack rolls)
Murky-Eyed (roll 2 times against concealment; miss if fail on EITHER roll)

Feats
Character Level 1 (Shaper 1)Character Level 3 (Shaper 3)Character Level 4 (Shaper 3/Gnome Illusionist 1)Character Level 6 (Shaper 3/Gnome Illusionist 1/Illusionist 2)Character Level 9 (Shaper 3/Gnome Illusionist 1/Illusionist 2/Cerebremancer 3)Powers
Level 1
Astral Construct
Crystal Shard
Minor Creation, Psionic
Precognition, Defensive
Vigor

Level 2
Amethyst Burst
Damp Power
Share Pain
Psychoportive Shelter

Level 3
Ectoplasmic Cocoon
Energy Wall
Time Hop
Touchsight

Level 4
Divination, Psionic
Fabricate, Psionic

Spells
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.
[/spoiler]
« Last Edit: December 14, 2010, 11:03:08 PM by Saeomon »

Saeomon

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Re: The New, Virtually No-Nonsense Guide To Psions
« Reply #8 on: November 28, 2010, 04:10:23 PM »
Developing a Solid Repertoire of Offensive Powers

Step 1: Recognize Your Limitations
[spoiler]

In no more area is proper selection of powers more important than in the choice of powers the Psion will use offensively, in combat.
Step 2: Try to Cover all the Bases
[spoiler]


  • 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.
[/spoiler]

Step 3: Selecting Powers to Fit These Roles
[spoiler]

Ranged Attack RollMelee Attack RollTargets Fortitude Saving ThrowTargets Reflex Saving ThrowTargets Will Saving ThrowAllows no SaveNot 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 EffectThe 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.
« Last Edit: December 14, 2010, 07:02:41 PM by Saeomon »

Saeomon

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Re: The New, Virtually No-Nonsense Guide To Psions
« Reply #9 on: November 28, 2010, 04:10:40 PM »
Getting the Most Out of Your Astral Constructs

About the Astral Construct Power
[spoiler]

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: Augment:
Augmenting your Astral Constructs: Better Stats and Menu Abilities
[spoiler]

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):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):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):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):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):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):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):
Rating the Menu Choices
[spoiler]
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):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):Deflection (Ex):Fly (Ex):Improved Bull Rush (Ex): Only situationally useful. Having your constructs smack stuff around, instead, is always useful.
Improved Slam Attack (Ex):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):Swim (Ex):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 BEnergy Touch (Ex):Extra Attack: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):Improved Damage Reduction (Ex):Improved Fly (Ex):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: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):Pounce (Ex):Smite (Su): Once per day, your construct does a small amount of extra damage. Take abilities that are usable more than once.
Trample (Ex):Astral Construct Menu CBlindsight (Ex):Concussion (Ps):Constrict (Ex): Turn your constructs into the best grapplers in the entire system.
Dimension Slide (Ps):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):Extreme Deflection (Ex):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):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):
« Last Edit: January 24, 2011, 01:44:00 PM by Saeomon »

Saeomon

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Re: The New, Virtually No-Nonsense Guide To Psions
« Reply #10 on: November 28, 2010, 04:10:57 PM »
Reserved 4
« Last Edit: November 30, 2010, 08:29:04 PM by Saeomon »

Saeomon

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Re: The New, Virtually No-Nonsense Guide To Psions
« Reply #11 on: November 28, 2010, 04:55:57 PM »
Reserved 5
« Last Edit: November 30, 2010, 08:29:20 PM by Saeomon »

Saeomon

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Re: The New, Virtually No-Nonsense Guide To Psions
« Reply #12 on: November 28, 2010, 04:56:22 PM »
Reserved 6 (Finished Reserving Posts)
« Last Edit: November 30, 2010, 08:29:33 PM by Saeomon »

awaken DM golem

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Re: The New, Virtually No-Nonsense Guide To Psions
« Reply #13 on: November 28, 2010, 05:37:50 PM »
 :clap



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, 05:42:01 PM by awaken DM golem »

Bauglir

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Re: The New, Virtually No-Nonsense Guide To Psions
« Reply #14 on: November 28, 2010, 05:42:46 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.

Lycanthromancer

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Re: The New, Virtually No-Nonsense Guide To Psions
« Reply #15 on: November 28, 2010, 06:29:20 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, 06:40:54 PM by Lycanthromancer »
[spoiler]Masculine men like masculine things. Masculine men are masculine. Therefore, liking masculine men is masculine.

I dare anyone to find a hole in that logic.
______________________________________
[/spoiler]I'm a writer. These are my stories. Some are even SFW! (Warning: Mostly Gay.)
My awesome poster collection. (Warning, some are NSFW.)
Agita's awesome poster collection.
[spoiler]
+1 Lycanthromancer
Which book is Lycanthromancer in?
Lyca ... is in the book. Yes he is.
 :D
shit.. concerning psionics optimization, lycan IS the book
[/spoiler]

sir_argenon

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Re: The New, Virtually No-Nonsense Guide To Psions
« Reply #16 on: November 28, 2010, 06:51:52 PM »
nice thorough guide, but way to many colors, and WAY too many spoilers IMO...

Kajhera

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Re: The New, Virtually No-Nonsense Guide To Psions
« Reply #17 on: November 28, 2010, 07:14:28 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.  :)

Garryl

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Re: The New, Virtually No-Nonsense Guide To Psions
« Reply #18 on: November 28, 2010, 07:37:52 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).
A Guide to Free D&D - A resource of free, official D&D resources on the web.
General listing of my homebrew.
Links to things I've worked on
[spoiler]
Idiot Crusader, refreshing maneuvers for free every round.
The Opposed Checks Handbook - Under construction.
Adaptations Handbook - Under construction.
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Saeomon

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Re: The New, Virtually No-Nonsense Guide To Psions
« Reply #19 on: November 28, 2010, 08:52:34 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.

Warforged...

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.