Friday, August 1, 2014

The Psychic Class

This class, along with the Scientist , and the Leech is posted here with permission by John Stater over at The Land of Nod. It and other excellent classes are detailed in The Nod Companion along with spells, races and other features for use in the Blood and Treasure RPG.


The inclusion of a psychic character class is often a controversial one in fantasy role‐playing. Magic‐users who command several spells based on psychic phenomenon make sense, but psychics are often viewed as a distraction, something more fit to science fantasy than the traditional fantasy genre.
Voidjammer (and Spelljammer) deals with such a wide range of possibilities for race, locations, magic and mystery, that the Psychic class can be an easy fit. However, even in Spelljammer, Psychics stand out, the powers they exhibit are in many ways more powerful than spells of similar nature (at lower levels at least), and so psychics can expect to be held in as much suspicion as Sorcerers.
Psychics in fiction are widespread, particularly in the "softer" sort of science fiction, though even the hardest science fiction can sometimes shoehorn in Psychic like beings. But in fiction more familiar to fantasy fans, several excellent sources spring to my mind.
The Mars and Venus books by Edgar Rice Burroughs have loads of psychic powers along with lots of derring-do and weird technology. The Talents Universe by Anne McCaffrey is chock full of psychics and psychic powers. Madeleine L'Engle's Time Quartet has a range of Psychic powers in it, and has an interesting angle on psychic powers. But for that fantasy feel the Dune books by Frank Herbert (not the ones by his son) are hard to beat for weird psychics and how they might be used in a civilization.
Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind is a marvellous Manga, and has a number of excellent examples of the Psychic class, as all of the settings spiritual leaders are Psychics. The manga (and if you must; the Anime) is excellent inspiration for a desolate planet in Voidjammer. But in American comics, its hard to beat the Tales of The Jedi by Dark Horse comics.
The psychic learns to focus her innate mental powers to create astounding psychic phenomena. Psychics must go through a training regimen not dissimilar to monks. But where monks train their bodies, psychics train their minds. In-fact Psychics and Monks might make excellent companions and might even have monasteries in common. Dual Classed Monk/Psychics would not be out of place by any means.

- Intelligence, Wisdom and Charisma must total at least 35
- Padded and leather armor, bucklers and shields
- Club, dagger, dart, hand axe, light crossbow, quarterstaff, short bow, sling, spear
- Find Secret Doors, Trickery

-The most basic ability a psychic has is her sixth sense, which warns her of danger. Because of their sixth sense, psychics are only surprised on a roll of 1 on 1d8. Psychics receive a +1 bonus on saving throws made to avoid traps.
-Psychics train their minds to be veritable fortresses. This gives them a +1 bonus on saving throws against mental magic and the powers of other psychics. At 6th level, this bonus improves to +2.
-Psionic powers are divided into two types, Psi‐Gamma and Psi‐Kappa. Psi‐Gamma powers are telepathic, and mostly associated with knowledge and the senses. Psi‐Kappa powers are telekinetic
and have an impact on the physical world.
At each level, the psychic opens the door to a new psionic power. The psychic can choose any minor power from the psi‐kappa or psi‐gamma list. The psychic can only have one major power for every three minor powers she has from a list (i.e. a psychic with six minor psi‐kappa powers is permitted to know two major psikappa powers).
To use a minor psychic power, the psychic must succeed at a Will saving throw, and her subject (if there is a subject) must fail a saving throw, the type varies. The subject of a psychic power must be within the psychic’s field of vision unless the power’s description says otherwise. Activating major powers uses the
same rules, but the psychic must succeed at two checks.
If a psychic fails a saving throw to activate a power, that power closes to her for 24 hours and until she spends one hour in meditation the next day.
-A 9th level psychic can choose to establish a stronghold in the wilderness and gain followers. A psychic who becomes a psi‐lord or psi‐lady attracts 1d6 men‐at‐arms per level, 1d6 first level psychics who wish to train under them and one 3rd level psychic to serve as a lieutenant.

Apopsi: Activating this power is done at a ‐10 penalty. It completely suppresses 1d4 psionic powers of a single opponent, who receives a Will saving throw for each of these powers to resist. The powers suppressed are chosen by the user of apopsi, who also learns of his opponent’s full complement of powers. The powers are all suppressed for the next 24 hours.
Astral Projection: The psychic can enter a trance and project his astral spirit from his physical body. This astral spirit is incorporeal and unable to interact with the physical world. Astral spirits can only communicate using the power of telepathy. An astral spirit can travel freely over the physical world, and can enter the
ethereal and astral planes at will. The astral spirit can interact with objects and creatures on the ethereal and astral planes, and can communicate normally therein. If a psychic’s astral spirit is killed, his physical body dies as well.
Aura Sight: This power allows you to discern auras. Auras are invisible to the naked eye, but to a psychic viewer manifesting this power they appear as glowing halos or envelopes of colored light that surround all objects. The color of each aura reveals information to the psychic. The amount of information revealed
depends on how long you study a particular area. In the first round, you discern auras of Law (Good) and Chaos (Evil), even if the owner of the aura is otherwise invisible. In the second round, you discern magical auras. In the third round, you discern how powerful (hit dice or level) individuals are, and if they are near
death (less than 10% of their hit points remaining).
Biofeedback: With biofeedback, you toughen your body and ignore pain, reducing physical damage by 2 points per hit for 1 minute per psychic level.
Body Adaptation: With this power, your body adapts to hostile environments: Underwater, extremely hot or cold, or airless environments. You can survive as if you were a creature native to that environment. You can breathe and move (though environmental penalties to movement and attacks still apply) and you take no damage simply from being in that environment. You need not specify what environment you are adapting to when you manifest this power. Extreme environments: Acid, lava, fire and electricity, can be adapted to enough to halve damage from the environment by half.
Body Adjustment: This power allows you to adjust your body at the cellular level, healing yourself of 1d6 points of damage.
Catapsi: By activating this power you generate psychic static that infers with the ability of other psionic characters to activate their powers. All psionic activation rolls within a 20‐ft. radius centered on you suffer a ‐4 penalty.
Channeling: By opening his mind to the cosmos, the psychic can commune with higher planes (as the magic‐user spell contact other plane). Channeling is a difficult power to control, and imposes a ‐5 penalty on the psychic’s activation saving throw. A failure to activate this power results in the psychic’s personality
(or alignment) changing (as determined by the TK) for 1d6 days.
Choke: You cause the victim’s throat to tighten until he begins to choke. The victim must make an immediate Fortitude save in order to hold his breath. The save must be repeated each round, with the difficulty increasing by 1 for each previous success. When the character fails one of these saves, he begins to choke. A choking victim is stunned and suffers 1d3 points of damage per round.
Clairsentience: A psychic with these abilities can see or hear the going’s on in a distant place. If the psychic has never been in this place, or does not know somebody present, his activation roll to activate this ability is made at a ‐5 penalty.
Cloud Minds: With this ability, a psychic can cloud people’s minds, making him invisible to them. Just as with the magic‐user spell invisibility, an attack by the psychic spoils the effect. If used on multiple subjects, the psychic suffers a ‐1 penalty to his roll to activate the power for each subject beyond the first.
Dimension Door: Dimension door is a weak form of teleportation. Using this power, the psychic may teleport himself, an object, or another person with perfect accuracy to the stated location, as long as it is within the spell’s range.
Dominate: With this power, you can control the actions of any humanoid creature through a telepathic link that you establish with the subject’s mind. Once you have given a dominated creature a command, it continues to attempt to carry out that command to the exclusion of all other activities except those necessary for day‐to‐day survival. Subjects resist this control with a Will save, and any subject forced to take actions against its nature receives a new saving throw with a +2 bonus. Obviously self‐destructive orders are not carried out. Once control is established, the range at which it can be exercised is unlimited, as long as you and the subject are on the same plane. Dominating non‐humanoids is done with a ‐5 penalty to the psychic’s
activation roll.
Dowsing: Using a dowsing rod, the psychic can find the nearest source of fresh water. He can also use this power to discover the location of precious metals and gems, but suffers a ‐3 penalty to his activation roll to do so.
Ego Whip: This is the psychic’s ability to stun another sentient creature by causing terrible pain and trauma in their mind. A stunned creature remains stunned for a number of rounds equal to the psychic’s level. An ego whip can only be used on a single creature.
Empathic Projection: This is the ability to project powerful emotions (anger, joy, sorrow, fear) in the mind of a subject. It is up to the TK to determine the effects these emotions might have on a situation. A psychic who fails his roll to activate this power must make an additional activation roll or be struck with the
emotions himself.
ESP: With this ability, the psychic can read a subject’s mind, as with the magic‐user spell detect thoughts.
Etherealness: This power functions like the spell ethereal jaunt, except that you and other willing creatures that are joined by linked hands become ethereal. Besides yourself, you can bring one creature per three levels to the Ethereal Plane. Once ethereal, the subjects need not stay together. When the spell expires, all affected creatures on the Ethereal Plane return to their material existence.
Id Insinuation: By insinuating his own thoughts and memories in an opponent’s mind, the psychic causes either confusion (per the magic‐user spell) or insanity (likewise). Attempting to cause insanity imposes a ‐10 penalty on the psychic’s activation roll. A failure to activate this power forces the psychic to pass a saving
throw or suffer from insanity himself.
Illusion: The psychic can use this ability to plant powerful illusions inside a person’s mind. In general, these illusions correspond to the following magic‐user spells: Phantasmal force, spectral force, and improved phantasmal force. Activation rolls for this power suffer a penalty equal to the spell’s level.
Inertial Barrier: You create a skin‐tight psychokinetic barrier around yourself that resists blows, cuts, stabs, and slashes, as well as providing some protection against falling. You gain a +5 bonus to AC and suffer half damage from falls.
Intellect Fortress: You encase yourself and your allies in a shimmering fortress of telekinetic force. All damage from mind-affecting effects, including those that deal charisma, intelligence or wisdom damage, is halved. You can activate this power when it is not your turn with a single thought, including just before an
opponent attacks you.
Matter Agitation: This is the ability to cause objects to burst into flames. The ability can only be used on flammable objects, and inflicts 1d4 points of damage per psychic level. Activating the power requires a full round of concentration on the part of the psychic. Failure to this activate this power requires the psychic to
make an additional Will save to avoid being damaged himself.
Matter Manipulation: With this power, you can weaken or strengthen the substance of an object or structure. You can affect both mundane and magical inanimate material. Weakening an object’s substance gives it a penalty of ‐3 on any item saving throw it is forced to make. Naturally, the opposite is true if you fortify the object.
Mental Barrier: A mental barrier is a field of improbability that surrounds you (and you alone), creating a fleeting protective shell that increases your Armor Class by +4. You can activate this power instantly, quickly enough to gain its benefits in an emergency. You can use this power even when it’s not your turn; however, you must manifest it prior to an opponent’s attack roll in order to gain this power’s benefit against that attack.
Mesmerism: This is the ability to put others into a trance, thus gaining the ability to question them truthfully or implant suggestions in their mind. Implanting a suggestion works as the magic‐user spell of the same name and imposes a ‐5 penalty on the psychic’s activation roll.
Metamorphosis: With metamorphosis, you assume the form of a creature of the same type as your normal form, or any other type except construct, elemental, outsider, and undead or a form that is incorporeal or gaseous. In all other respects, this power works like the spell polymorph self. You can also use this power to
assume the form of an inanimate object, though not a complex mechanism unless you understand how such a mechanism functions. While in the form of an object, you retain your normal senses and your ability to speak, and can only activate other powers by accepting a ‐5 penalty on those rolls. Damage sustained while in object form is also sustained by your body.
Mindlink: You forge a telepathic mind link with a chosen target. This bond functions over any distance.
Mind Switch: You can attempt to take control of a nearby living creature, forcing your mind and soul into its body, and its mind and soul into your body. You can target any creature whose Hit Dice are equal to or less than your level. If the target fails a Will saving throw, you possess their body, essentially replacing its
mentality (and mental ability scores) with your own, including your psionic powers. Its mind and mental ability scores are shifted to your body. This state lasts for 1 turn per level. While in the other body, you retain your own hit points, saves, skills and feats, and vice versa. If you fail an activation roll to use this power
you are stunned for 1d6 rounds.
Mind Thrust: With a sharp thrust of his mental powers into the mind of one sentient opponent, the psychic inflicts 1d6 points of damage plus one point of damage for every point difference between his own and his opponent’s intelligence scores. If an opponent’s intelligence score is unknown, assume that it is a 10.
For sentient monsters, use the following intelligence scores:

Plane Shift: You move yourself or some other creature to another plane of existence or alternate dimension. If several willing persons link hands in a circle, as many as eight can be affected by the plane shift at the same time. Precise accuracy as to a particular arrival location on the intended plane is nigh
impossible. From the Material Plane, you can reach any other plane, though you appear 5 to 500 miles (1d100 x 5) from your intended destination.
Precognition: Precognition allows your mind to glimpse fragments of potential future events. What you see will probably happen if no one takes action to change it, but your vision is incomplete and it makes no real sense until the actual events you glimpsed begin to unfold. In practice, activating this power grants you a
“precognitive edge” for 10 minutes per level. During this period, you can apply a +1 bonus to any one attack roll, damage roll or saving throw. You can elect to apply the bonus to the roll after you determine that your unmodified roll is lower than desired.
Psionic Blast: A psionic blast works like an ego whip, but instead stuns creatures in 30‐ft cone emanating from the psychic’s forehead. A psychic suffers a ‐5 penalty to activate a psionic blast.
Psychic Crush: Your will abruptly and brutally crushes the mental essence of any one creature, debilitating its acumen. The target must make a Will saving throw with a +4 bonus or collapse unconscious at 0 hit points. If the target succeeds on the save, it takes 3d6 points of damage.
Psychic Surgery: Psychic surgery can be used to double a creature’s natural healing or to grant a subject a +1 bonus to save against diseases. It can also be used to heal or inflict 1d6 points of damage. This requires the psychic to physically touch the subject, and the psychic’s saving throw to activate the power is made at a
‐5 penalty. At 5th level, the psychic can heal or inflict 2d6 points of damage. At 10th level, 3d6 points of damage.
Psychofeedback: You can readjust your body to boost one physical ability score at the expense of one or more other scores. Select one ability score you would like to boost, and increase it by the same amount that you decrease one or more other scores. This boost lasts for 1 minute, but the lowered ability scores only regenerate at the natural rate of healing; i.e. one point per day.
Psychometry: This is the psychic’s ability to read the vibrations given off by an object or place, allowing him to learn elements of its history such as who last held the device, how it is used or traumatic events that took place there. In effect, it works like the magic‐user spell legend lore. The TK might impose penalties on
the psychic’s saving throw to activate this power depending on the age and provenance of the object or place being read.
Reddopsi: Activating this power is at a ‐5 penalty on the activation roll. With reddopsi, powers used against you rebound on the activator if they fail a Will saving throw.
Schism: Your mind splits into two independent parts. Each part functions in complete autonomy, like two characters in one body.
Your new “second mind” does not control your body physically but is free to take one action in each round if the action is purely mental, such as activating a power. Your second mind does not gain any advantages if you are subject to a haste effect, although you gain the overall standard benefits.
Suspend Life: You can place yourself into a trance so deep that you are almost in suspended animation. Even powers that detect life or thought are incapable of determining that you are alive. While you are suspended, a year feels as though it were a day.
Telekinesis: This is the ability to move small objects with one’s mind. For precise telekinetic control of a small object, a ‐5 penalty is imposed on the psychic’s saving throw to activate this power. Otherwise, impose a penalty of ‐2 per 20 pounds of the object being moved.
Telepathy: With this ability the psychic can project his thoughts into the minds of other creatures. Penalties may be applied to this ability based on the distance of the psychic’s target or when he tries to communicate with several people at once. If communicating with non‐sentient creatures, the psychic suffers a ‐5 penalty. A like penalty is suffered when communicating with the alien minds of aberrations.
Teleportation: This power allows a psychic to teleport (as the magic‐user spell) objects. The psychic can teleport creatures, but suffers a ‐5 penalty to his saving throw to activate the power. Teleporting multiple objects or creatures imposes a ‐1 penalty to his activation roll per creature or object beyond the first.
Temporal Acceleration: You enter another time frame, speeding up so greatly that all other creatures seem frozen, though they are actually still moving at normal speed. You are free to act for 1 round of apparent time. You can activate powers, cast spells, move, etc. While your temporal acceleration is in effect, other
creatures are invulnerable to your attacks and powers. This means you cannot target a creature with any attack or power.
However, a power you activate that affects an area and has a duration longer than the remaining duration of your temporal acceleration has its normal effect on creatures in the area once this power ends. You can affect an unattended object but not an object held, carried, or worn by another creature. You are undetectable by any means while temporal acceleration lasts.
Thought Shield: You fortify your mind against intrusions, gaining magic resistance 15% against all mind‐affecting spells and special abilities. You can activate this power when it is not your turn, including just before an opponent attacks you.
Tower of Iron Will: You generate a bastion of thought so strong that it offers protection to you and everyone around you, improving the self‐control of all. You and all creatures in the spell’s area gain magic resistance 45% against all mind‐affecting spells and special abilities. You can activate this power when it is not your turn, including just before an opponent attacks you.
Transvection: A psychic can use transvection to cause himself to levitate (as the magic‐user spell). It can also be used to fly (as the magic‐user spell), but such use imposes a ‐5 penalty to the psychic's activation saving throw.
True Seeing: You gain the ability to see all things as they actually are, seeing through normal and magical darkness, noticing secret doors hidden by magic, seeing the exact locations of creatures or objects under blur or displacement effects, seeing invisible creatures or objects normally, seeing through illusions, and
seeing the true form of polymorphed, changed, or transmuted things. You can focus your vision to see into the Ethereal Plane, but not into extra‐dimensional spaces.
Ubiquitous Vision: You have metaphoric “eyes in the back of your head” for 1 hour after activating this power. In effect, you have a 360‐degree sphere of sight and cannot be back stabbed. You are only surprised on a roll of 1 on 1d10, but you take a ‐2 penalty on saves against all gaze attacks during the power’s duration.

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