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View Full Version : [3.5] Any advice for making a psion privateer?



Pika...
2009-10-05, 07:01 PM
So I might be getting invited to a new pirate based campaign, and me and two of the other potential players are already planning ideas.

I myself am planning to bring back a recurring character. This "division" of him happened to get a taste for the seas, and I am thinking he might be going to take levels in swashbuckler. My other recent thread, Kptin Gibby, was partly a way for me to test-run making a captain/seafaring character.

I am reading through my copy of Shipwrack, but the classes suggestion section conveniently missed the psionic classes. :smallconfused:

I am not very sure how to go about using a psion's abilities aboard a ship, or in a seafaring campaign period. This would be my first time in such a game (not including what I am trying to do in my own campaign). I am finding it hard to picture what benefit psionic powers could offer to a ship and/or crew, or if a swashbuckler (or something else?) + psion combo would even work.

Darkmatter
2009-10-05, 08:17 PM
What kind of psion is he? Seers would be invaluable for finding and spying on other ships, shapers good for both defense (repairing the ship as soon as it's damaged) and offense (submarine astral constructs), and an 8 point sonic energy ball from a kineticist will essentially vaporize any wood 2 inches thick in a 20 ft. sphere from a bowshot away with obvious detrimental effects to an opposing ship.

Pika...
2009-10-05, 08:31 PM
What kind of psion is he? Seers would be invaluable for finding and spying on other ships, shapers good for both defense (repairing the ship as soon as it's damaged) and offense (submarine astral constructs), and an 8 point sonic energy ball from a kineticist will essentially vaporize any wood 2 inches thick in a 20 ft. sphere from a bowshot away with obvious detrimental effects to an opposing ship.

That is the kind of information I was hoping to get.

You see, the "recurring character" was original one character I played and simply loved, so at the end of the campaign I put all my money into a wish spell to divide himself into 100 equal selves (no one being the "true"/"original" one, since they all are). So I explain it as they/he got reverted to lv.1 (DM's idea for the whole "path of least resistance" thing), so this is how I justify each being slightly different since they split. Hence he could be any kind of psion (but I always make sure they have at least the first level as a psion).

They were on Sigil at the time, so that is how I explain them getting into different DMs' campaign settings. :smallbiggrin:

Zaydos
2009-10-05, 09:00 PM
If you're doing exploration/dealing with natives a telepath could, theoretically, serve as the face of the party using diplomatic skills and mind control to do so. The main one I thought up, though, was energy ball artillery. You can even use a feat to snag a specific power you want from another list, so you ought to be able to make a good contribution to the group.

Mostly though I just wanted to say:


You see, the "recurring character" was original one character I played and simply loved, so at the end of the campaign I put all my money into a wish spell to divide himself into 100 equal selves (no one being the "true"/"original" one, since they all are). So I explain it as they/he got reverted to lv.1 (DM's idea for the whole "path of least resistance" thing), so this is how I justify each being slightly different since they split. Hence he could be any kind of psion (but I always make sure they have at least the first level as a psion).

I like this. I often have the Eternal Hero concept show up in mine with a similar but different incarnation of the same character showing up in different campaigns of mine (for example a Wiz/Dru who showed up in the next as a feylock with a slightly different name both wore signature green-cloaks, etc) and I like the way you did it. Plus I miss Sigil, never got to run a campaign in it and I don't like the change to fluff since the original planescape box (hopefully will get to run an adventure there soon).

Pika...
2009-10-05, 09:09 PM
If you're doing exploration/dealing with natives a telepath could, theoretically, serve as the face of the party using diplomatic skills and mind control to do so. The main one I thought up, though, was energy ball artillery. You can even use a feat to snag a specific power you want from another list, so you ought to be able to make a good contribution to the group.

Hmm. I guess that's an option as well.

I and the two other fellows I mentioned earlier were thinking of being "legal" privateers for a local land/lord (if the game happens it will be in Oriental Adventures). One would be a ninja for the lord, who I sneak around on my ship as a crew member, while the other will probably be an orc fighter who I will try to get him his own ship so this character could act as an "admiral" of sorts.

I am not sure if diplomat would be needed much in such a game, hence why I asked here (telepaths are my favorite discipline, but I do not mind variety).





Mostly though I just wanted to say:



I like this. I often have the Eternal Hero concept show up in mine with a similar but different incarnation of the same character showing up in different campaigns of mine (for example a Wiz/Dru who showed up in the next as a feylock with a slightly different name both wore signature green-cloaks, etc) and I like the way you did it. Plus I miss Sigil, never got to run a campaign in it and I don't like the change to fluff since the original planescape box (hopefully will get to run an adventure there soon).

Thank you. :smallsmile:

Oh, and to boot to avoid the whole naming thing they decided to put 100 pieces of folded paper into their bag of holding, then got in a line to draw. So every time I roll up a different incarnation of him I roll a % to see which number he is. This one is Grim #79. Aka Grim #79: The Privateer.


ps.s Try Expedition into the Demonweb Pits. This is how my character ended up on Sigil. Great module in my opinion, and I am someone who dislikes modules.

Pika...
2009-10-07, 11:42 AM
What kind of psion is he? Seers would be invaluable for finding and spying on other ships, shapers good for both defense (repairing the ship as soon as it's damaged) and offense (submarine astral constructs), and an 8 point sonic energy ball from a kineticist will essentially vaporize any wood 2 inches thick in a 20 ft. sphere from a bowshot away with obvious detrimental effects to an opposing ship.

Hmm.

I am still debating which option would be best. Any others' views on this?


ps. Will I be crippling myself due to having to invest most of my wealth into my ship? I learned that issue during my test-run on shuch characters with Kptin Gibby.

Pika...
2009-10-07, 11:44 AM
And what is this about a submarine Astral Construct?! :smalleek:

The Glyphstone
2009-10-07, 11:45 AM
Kineticist. People rag on Direct Damage as being inefficient, but it's still way fun and probably the only area, barring Cindy-level cheese, where Psionics can easily blow arcane magic out of the water. Pun absolutely intended.


EDIT: Psions are casters who don't need material components. You'll be weaker than a psion with full WBL invested in gear, but still superior to any non-caster even with full gear.

Pika...
2009-10-07, 12:45 PM
Kineticist. People rag on Direct Damage as being inefficient, but it's still way fun and probably the only area, barring Cindy-level cheese, where Psionics can easily blow arcane magic out of the water. Pun absolutely intended.


EDIT: Psions are casters who don't need material components. You'll be weaker than a psion with full WBL invested in gear, but still superior to any non-caster even with full gear.

Hmm.

I see. Thanks for the information.

But what if I threw some swashbuckler levels in there? I have been thinking about it, but am not sure how bad or good that would be.

Or would that along with the lack of full gear kill me off?


ps. LoL. I comepletely missed that.

The Glyphstone
2009-10-07, 01:12 PM
I'd say skip the Swashbuckler levels in this case. It wouldn't help your power damage at all, and the loss of three manifesting levels would cripple you in combination with the lower gear quantity. You could always go Ardent with practiced manifester, but that's still a much weaker option.

Iku Rex
2009-10-07, 02:23 PM
At what level do you start? At what level do you expect the campaign to end? Books available?

Pika...
2009-10-07, 04:23 PM
Not too sure to be honest.

It will be the first time DMing for this girl, so at best I am banking on the PHB, the Arms & Equipment Guide (which her group uses a lot), and hopefully the XPH.

I am going to contact her by facebook right now to see.

Pika...
2009-10-13, 10:31 PM
Would you folks suggest investing in the Craft Universal Items feat, and perhaps the reduced XP/gps feats so he can equip his ship to the teeth?


ps. I have decided not to go with a Kinetisict due to the fact I wish to have the PC capture ships and build a small (or even bigger!) fleet.

Plus, I am pretty sure there will be a wizard in the group who's player will deal with the direct damage. :smallconfused:

Pika...
2009-10-13, 10:32 PM
At what level do you start? At what level do you expect the campaign to end? Books available?

Sorry, I only now got this information.

She is thinking either level 1 because she has some modules she will use to learn DMing, or level 5 because "that is when it starts getting fun" (which I personally disagree with, but whatever).




I'd say skip the Swashbuckler levels in this case. It wouldn't help your power damage at all, and the loss of three manifesting levels would cripple you in combination with the lower gear quantity. You could always go Ardent with practiced manifester, but that's still a much weaker option.

I see.

But what is Ardent?

Draz74
2009-10-13, 10:41 PM
But what is Ardent?

One of the two best-designed caster-type classes in 3e. It's a full manifester class, found in Complete Psionic. It multiclasses somewhat better than most full caster-type classes, but overall it's weaker than Psion, and it would be a very very strange class to combo with Swashbuckler (it's Wisdom-based, not Int-based, and it generally wears heavy armor).

Grynning
2009-10-13, 10:42 PM
when you mentioned a Psionic Swashbuckler, I immediately thought of an Elocater (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/psionic/prestigeClasses/elocater.htm). They're highly mobile, which would be good for ship-board action, and while not the "best" psionic PRC out there, they're certainly not bad. It does require some very meh feats to enter though (mobility and spring attack).

If you want to go int-based, you could make a decent psionic gish with Nomad and Swashbuckler, though I would also recommend a Rogue dip or at least picking up Assassin's stance from ToB to take advantage of the easy flanking you get out of Elocater.

For a Wis-Based build, Psionic Warrior with a Swordsage dip would work really well for entry and fit your concept as well.

Pika...
2009-10-13, 11:02 PM
I am very against Complete Crud, but I will look into Gry's idea.

So many options to choose from that I am having trouble deciding.


I am curious about the Shaper option, though. I am looking at the powers list and I am not sure how exactly it would repair entire ships. The only thing I can see is that it can repair constructs.


ps. If I were to choose Shaper, would taking first level as an Expert be a good idea to stock up on Craft skills? I imagine I could arm the ship with ballistas, catapults, etc pretty quickly.

pss. Could a Shaper build a galley with Fabricate?

psss. Would taking Craft Universal Item be worth it to make weapons and such from the Stronghold Builders Guidebook and the Arms & Equipment Guide?

Grynning
2009-10-13, 11:13 PM
I am very against Complete Crud, but I will look into Gry's idea.

Not sure what you mean by "Complete Crud." Are you talking about the ToB dips? Because you certainly don't need to use ToB, it would just be a bit stronger that way.



I am curious about the Shaper option, though. I am looking at the powers list and I am not sure how exactly it would repair entire ships. The only thing I can see is that it can repair constructs.

ps. If I were to choose Shaper, would taking first level as an Expert be a good idea to stock up on Craft skills? I imagine I could arm the ship with ballistas, catapults, etc pretty quickly.


Factotum would be considerably better than Expert if you want skills. Not sure about the repair thing.



pss. Could a Shaper build a galley with Fabricate?


http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/fabricate.htm - looks like it to me.



psss. Would taking Craft Universal Item be worth it to make weapons and such from the Stronghold Builders Guidebook and the Arms & Equipment Guide?

Craft Universal Item (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/psionic/psionicFeats.htm#craftUniversalItem) is the equivalent of Craft Wondrous Item for arcanists. It lets you make the items that are specifically labeled as "Universal Items" (again, basically Psionic Wondrous Items), not any item you want.

Lycanthromancer
2009-10-14, 12:00 AM
What about a shaper/constructor (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/psm/20040625b)? You can have insane amounts of fun with astral constructs, especially if you go grab that Excel spreadsheet that's floating around somewhere.

I had a LE blue goblin constructor, and he was the most fun that I've ever had with a character of any stripe. I used his constructs in everything from vegan meatshield to transportation to a distraction (tricked a blinded shadow dracolich into nabbing his Small astral construct 'clones' instead of the real thing...kind of like what wizards do with mirror image. I focused mainly on astral construct, energy wall, and quintessence, though I liberally used psionic minor creation and time hop for creature comforts and traps respectively.

Also, shapers have Use Psionic Device, which grants access to all of the other disciplines, and should allow you to use magic items too (though not by RAW...dangit).

Psionic minor creation is good in early levels for patching up boats. Psionic fabricate is good for fixing things up more permanently (or just use the ships you obliterate as raw materials for new ships of your design). You can sink other ships either via your constructs or through a few energy powers you pick up.

Check out energy wall; just think of what you can do with it. Sonic to sink ships (alliteration anyone?), fire to create clouds of steam for concealment, cold to make ice floes (sink, ships, sink!), electricity to zap anyone stuck in the water.

Lots of other really cool powers that your shaper can use, too. :smallsmile:

Pika...
2009-10-14, 08:21 AM
Not sure what you mean by "Complete Crud." Are you talking about the ToB dips? Because you certainly don't need to use ToB, it would just be a bit stronger that way.

No, I meant Complete Psionic.



http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/fabricate.htm - looks like it to me..

Thank for the link, but it does not seem to be the case. A sailing ship alone according to the Arms & Equipment Guide is 8ftx20ftx10ft.

Fabricate can only do 10 cubic feet per level. So not even a 20th level one could do that. :smallannoyed:




Craft Universal Item (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/psionic/psionicFeats.htm#craftUniversalItem) is the equivalent of Craft Wondrous Item for arcanists. It lets you make the items that are specifically labeled as "Universal Items" (again, basically Psionic Wondrous Items), not any item you want.

Well, this DM allows you to make "equivalents" as suggested in the Magic Item Compendium. So for example I could make the fireball/acid cannon using Energy Missile.





What about a shaper/constructor (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/psm/20040625b)? You can have insane amounts of fun with astral constructs, especially if you go grab that Excel spreadsheet that's floating around somewhere.

I had a LE blue goblin constructor, and he was the most fun that I've ever had with a character of any stripe. I used his constructs in everything from vegan meatshield to transportation to a distraction (tricked a blinded shadow dracolich into nabbing his Small astral construct 'clones' instead of the real thing...kind of like what wizards do with mirror image. I focused mainly on astral construct, energy wall, and quintessence, though I liberally used psionic minor creation and time hop for creature comforts and traps respectively.

Also, shapers have Use Psionic Device, which grants access to all of the other disciplines, and should allow you to use magic items too (though not by RAW...dangit).

Psionic minor creation is good in early levels for patching up boats. Psionic fabricate is good for fixing things up more permanently (or just use the ships you obliterate as raw materials for new ships of your design). You can sink other ships either via your constructs or through a few energy powers you pick up.

Check out energy wall; just think of what you can do with it. Sonic to sink ships (alliteration anyone?), fire to create clouds of steam for concealment, cold to make ice floes (sink, ships, sink!), electricity to zap anyone stuck in the water.

Lots of other really cool powers that your shaper can use, too. :smallsmile:

Thanks for the PrC link. However, it seems way too constraining and too much of a one-trick-pony. I am trying to make him all around useful as a privateer captain (and maybe later admiral).

And again, I am not sure how a Shaper repairs anything. No powers in the Shaper list seem to do that.

The Glyphstone
2009-10-14, 08:49 AM
Remember, you can occasionally find diamonds hidden in crud. The Ardent, along with the Soulbow and a few things like Practiced Manifester, are those said diamonds.

Drascin
2009-10-14, 08:57 AM
And what is this about a submarine Astral Construct?! :smalleek:

Astral Constructs don't need to breathe. Astral Constructs can be given both Climb and Swim speed.

Astral constructs make for superb boarding surprises. I'm speaking from experience here :smallbiggrin:.

Pika...
2009-10-14, 09:23 AM
Astral Constructs don't need to breathe. Astral Constructs can be given both Climb and Swim speed.

Astral constructs make for superb boarding surprises. I'm speaking from experience here :smallbiggrin:.

Thanks for the info. Sweet idea.


I was about to go Shaper, however, I got to thinking if going the psionic artificer route would be doable?

I imagine at that point I can make my own ship(s), and REALLY tank it up into a nautical monster. :smallbiggrin:

Lycanthromancer
2009-10-14, 12:29 PM
Thanks for the PrC link. However, it seems way too constraining and too much of a one-trick-pony. I am trying to make him all around useful as a privateer captain (and maybe later admiral).

And again, I am not sure how a Shaper repairs anything. No powers in the Shaper list seem to do that.Um...That "One Trick Pony" is tied with illusions for the most versatile trick in the game.

Really, you can do virtually TONS of stuff with astral constructs. Want to bar a door shut? Create a construct with Brawn. Want overland movement? Create an Extended (metapsionic) Extended Constructed flying or swimming construct. Want to be a trapspringer? Create a level 1 Utility construct. Want to sink a ship? Create a swimming construct with Brawn or energy bolt. Want to be a buffing machine? Create several constructs (using the Quickened ability and Linked Power) that Aid Another. Want an insane grappler? Create the largest construct you can with Improved Grab and Brawn and a bunch of little ones to Aid it. Want to wall off a corridor when a bunch of kobolds are swarming? Create a construct road-block (energy bolt is good for clearing them out). Want to clear out an army of mooks? Create several constructs (via Quicken Power, the Quickened PrC ability, and Linked Power) with parallel energy bolts in a 120' wall of destruction. Want to be battlefield control? Nab the Trip ability. Want to take down that dragon while protecting your friends? Improved Grapple, Energy Touch, and Extra Attack. Want to seriously tick off that barbarian charger over there? Improved Invisibility, and position it in front of you to block the line of the charge. Need to take care of a few ghosts and spectres? Concussion blast.

There are lots more where that came from. Plus, you're giving up a couple of manifester levels to make your most fantastically flexible power more flexible, without sacrificing much. You can still take a ton of other powers, too.

Also, note that psionic fabricate is an instantaneous effect, so multiple manifestations stack (allowing you to build and/or repair parts of the ship separately). Unlike the spell, the psionic version doesn't use the materials as material components (and instead uses them as the target), so you can reshape them and add to them at will.

Grynning
2009-10-14, 07:47 PM
No, I meant Complete Psionic.

I didn't suggest anything involving complete psionic. Everything I suggested was from the SRD, complete warrior (and scoundrel if you worked daring outlaw into it somehow), and ToB.



Thank for the link, but it does not seem to be the case. A sailing ship alone according to the Arms & Equipment Guide is 8ftx20ftx10ft.

Fabricate can only do 10 cubic feet per level. So not even a 20th level one could do that. :smallannoyed:


There's the Greater Version (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/psionic/powers/fabricateGreaterPsionic.htm). 6th level power. 10 times as much material.

Darkmatter
2009-10-14, 09:40 PM
I'll second (or third, or whatever it is by now) the suggestion of shaper. Astral constructs are awesome. They're expendable shock troopers, marines, sappers, or whatever else you want them to be, chosen at the time of casting. However, they're not unique to shapers (you can and probably should get them at level 3 with Expanded Knowledge on any psion) - the real advantage is in the fabricate powers, which will both let you repair your ship and also get creative with other people's ships. Any pirate crew coming within boarding range will quickly have difficulties staying afloat in a ship that has become a large collection of woodcuts graphically illustrating their inevitable defeat.

deuxhero
2009-10-14, 09:45 PM
Check with your DM if you can use some fire based power to burn the sails/masts of your enemies.

Pika...
2009-10-14, 09:50 PM
I'll second (or third, or whatever it is by now) the suggestion of shaper. Astral constructs are awesome. They're expendable shock troopers, marines, sappers, or whatever else you want them to be, chosen at the time of casting. However, they're not unique to shapers (you can and probably should get them at level 3 with Expanded Knowledge on any psion) - the real advantage is in the fabricate powers, which will both let you repair your ship and also get creative with other people's ships. Any pirate crew coming within boarding range will quickly have difficulties staying afloat in a ship that has become a large collection of woodcuts graphically illustrating their inevitable defeat.

Well, there are so many options that I have deiced to go with an artificer. This way I will have a dojore of Fabricate, Fabricate Greater, and Astral Construct on a wand/dojre bracer.

Draz74
2009-10-14, 10:14 PM
Well, there are so many options that I have deiced to go with an artificer. This way I will have a dojore of Fabricate, Fabricate Greater, and Astral Construct on a wand/dojre bracer.

Dorjes and wands have Caster Level issues; an Astral Construct with Manifester Level 1 isn't very impressive. Dorjes also can't Augment, which means the Astral Construct is even worse for the one round before its duration runs out.

Want decent Constructs from an item? You'll have to go with a Psicrown of the Astral Legion (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/psionic/items/psicrowns.htm#astralLegion).

Pika...
2009-10-14, 10:23 PM
Dorjes and wands have Caster Level issues; an Astral Construct with Manifester Level 1 isn't very impressive. Dorjes also can't Augment, which means the Astral Construct is even worse for the one round before its duration runs out.

Want decent Constructs from an item? You'll have to go with a Psicrown of the Astral Legion (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/psionic/items/psicrowns.htm#astralLegion).

But like wands you can choose to make them at a higher caster level.

Draz74
2009-10-14, 10:27 PM
But like wands you can choose to make them at a higher caster level.

Yes, but that's expensive, and the rules about how this option interacts with augmentation are kind of ambiguous.

Baron Malkar
2009-10-14, 11:50 PM
I would suggest that you take the Helmsman or True Helmsman psychic powers from Stormwrack though they are Seer powers.

ShadowFighter15
2009-10-14, 11:51 PM
Yes, but that's expensive, and the rules about how this option interacts with augmentation are kind of ambiguous.

It's always seemed pretty straightforward to me.


However, dorjes can be created at a higher manifester level than required to manifest the power. In this case, the dorje that holds an augmentable power is augmented, to the limit of the manifester level and the powerís augmentation maximums, if any. The manifester level of a dorje cannot be more than five higher than the minimum manifester level to use the power it contains.

Meaning that if you make a dorje with a manifester level of 5; the power in it is always manifested as though a 5th level psion augmented it as high as he could.

Draz74
2009-10-15, 01:40 AM
Hmmm. Guess I remembered wrong.