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aazru
2010-03-11, 06:14 PM
What is better? Which is more useful and in what situations? Which is more optimal and optimisable? How using spells works with psicrystal(and vice versa)?
And on a seperate note. Assuming full progression but very limited number of spells/powers which comes out more useful?

Ranos
2010-03-11, 06:25 PM
Both are very good if you know how to use them, but psicrystals have the big advantage of having feats to play around with.

Dusk Eclipse
2010-03-11, 06:29 PM
Both are very good if you know how to use them, but psicrystals have the big advantage of having feats to play around with.

Plus there are TONS of good ACF that you can trade your familiar for.
OTOH improved familiar is quite fun (Pseudodragon is quite good) also Draconic familiar is great for fluff and there are some good dragons (personal favorites are Blue and red)

Jack_Simth
2010-03-11, 06:32 PM
What is better? Which is more useful and in what situations? Which is more optimal and optimisable? How using spells works with psicrystal(and vice versa)?
And on a seperate note. Assuming full progression but very limited number of spells/powers which comes out more useful?
Assuming 3.5?

Are we looking at Sorcerer vs. Psion, or Wilder vs. Sorcerer? The two are a bit different.

Under Magic-Psionics transparency (the default) Your basic gestalt Caster//Manifester can share spells and powers with both psicrystal and familiar, as they're essentially the same thing.

The familiar is more optimizable, mostly because Wizards & Sorcerers got more supplements than did Psions & Wilders.

If we cut out most of the supplements to get things on a more even keel... which is better depends: Better at what?

Both have the same base HP. After about level 6, both have the same saves. A Psicrystal has the skill ranks of it's master, and always has a minimum of four ranks in each of four set skills. The familiar has the ranks of it's master, and always has at least the ranks of the base animal (plus the special abilities of the base animal - this aspect is usually in favor of the Familiar due to racial bonuses to skills). All Psicrystals can talk with their master (and anyone after level 5...) where the familar can't talk, even to it's master, until level 5 (except the raven), but a familiar blends in better. The Psicrystal gets some cooler high-level abilities (Channel Power, I'm looking at you!), though.

It's *mostly* a wash.

Amphetryon
2010-03-11, 07:04 PM
What happens, RAW, if your Familiar dies?

If the familiar dies or is dismissed by the sorcerer, the sorcerer must attempt a DC 15 Fortitude saving throw. Failure means he loses 200 experience points per sorcerer level; success reduces the loss to one-half that amount. However, a sorcererís experience point total can never go below 0 as the result of a familiarís demise or dismissal. A slain or dismissed familiar cannot be replaced for a year and day. A slain familiar can be raised from the dead just as a character can be, and it does not lose a level or a Constitution point when this happy event occurs.

What happens, RAW, if your Psicrystal dies?

Conspicuous Lack of Consequence

I'd call that a point in favor for Psicrystal.

Starbuck_II
2010-03-11, 07:06 PM
I'd say the Psicrystal is very upset with you if it died.

Optimystik
2010-03-11, 07:07 PM
Pet Rock ftw :smallwink:

One advantage familiars have is the ability to counterspell. Not only does that free up your actions to be god, it denies the enemy wizard his. Hyperconscious negates this advantage by giving psions (and their psicrystals) the ability to counterspell, however.

But I have the pet rock the edge here - they can save your whole game and reload if you wipe. Let's see a familiar step out of the time stream to save your party's ass. :smalltongue:

alisbin
2010-03-11, 07:08 PM
psicrystal all the way
you don't need to spend your personal feats to make a psicrystal good, it does that itself. familiar does have more feats that affect it, but you have to focus on those feat trees to the detriment of your PC. also, psicrystals all get a climb speed to start(great utility movement at low levels) and a fly speed eventually.
plus psicrystal has hardness right the bat so there are some amazing options for minimizing personal damage at the cost of 2 powers.

Prime32
2010-03-11, 07:23 PM
Psicrystals have their own HD, meaning that they get 3/4 BAB and feats. That's pretty tasty.

And if you take the Psicrystal Containment feat and have them take Wild Talent...

elonin
2010-03-11, 07:45 PM
According to a dm I'm playing with psions need to spend a feat on psi crystals. They are not listed as a class feature.

Crow
2010-03-11, 07:50 PM
According to a dm I'm playing with psions need to spend a feat on psi crystals. They are not listed as a class feature.

That's how I always thought it was. It would appear you need to take the feat.

alisbin
2010-03-11, 07:51 PM
you get a free feat at first level psion so its hardly a trial to get.

Jack_Simth
2010-03-11, 07:54 PM
I'd call that a point in favor for Psicrystal.How, RAW, do you get the Psicrystal back if it dies?

aazru
2010-03-11, 08:06 PM
3.5 most books no dragon mag.
First half is about optimising gestalt - avatar of god of magic. Full arcanist//manifester :smallbiggrin: its details we ar working on now. It will be a friendly npc.
Second half is me trying to get my Factotum/Mindbender a Psicrystal :smallbiggrin: I dont like familiars all that much but after geting my eyes on psionics... :smallredface:

Starbuck_II
2010-03-11, 08:09 PM
How, RAW, do you get the Psicrystal back if it dies?

Customer Service says you get it back the next time you wake up (for free).

Yuki Akuma
2010-03-11, 08:12 PM
According to a dm I'm playing with psions need to spend a feat on psi crystals. They are not listed as a class feature.

That is precisely how it works.

Erudites get them for free as a class feature. Everyone else has to take a feat.

Optimystik
2010-03-11, 08:15 PM
How, RAW, do you get the Psicrystal back if it dies?

If Starbuck's way doesn't fly with your DM, just use Psychic Reformation and retake the feat.

Admiral Squish
2010-03-11, 08:16 PM
I generally make my psicrystal into a brooch or detachable earring or something. It's still there for psicrystal containment or whatnot, is relatively out of the way/inconspicuous, but can still be detached for scouting and such.

Crow
2010-03-11, 08:20 PM
I generally make my psicrystal into a brooch or detachable earring or something. It's still there for psicrystal containment or whatnot, is relatively out of the way/inconspicuous, but can still be detached for scouting and such.

I use mine for cheap teleport redirects and maintaining powers.

Lycanthromancer
2010-03-11, 08:29 PM
Psicrystals are considerably better without excessive optimization, in my experience.

They have all of those construct immunities, hardness (which is considerably better than DR, mind you, and fully stacks with DR), they're all very maneuverable (especially for chunks of crystal), they're far more versatile utility-wise (see: telepathy, climb-speed, flight, feats, non-reliance on sleep food or water, limited blindsense, construct type, etc), they get better abilities as their master levels up, continue to improve with multiclassing through psionic base classes and PrCs (that "this prestige class does not improve psicrystal granted abilities" blurb is a legacy error from 3.0, since original source [Psicrystal Affinity] overrides secondary sources), and since they come from a feat, you simply get another one if your previous one is killed (since you still qualify for the feat and thereby always receive its benefits), rather than losing XP and access to your rock-buddy for a whole year.

Oh, and they kick ass once metamorphosis (and later, energy conversion) enters the picture.

Considerably better, I think (though there are a few advantages to a familiar...primarily the ability to trade it in for ACFs).

elonin
2010-03-11, 08:48 PM
Was just making sure. For some reason thought that psions got them free. I'd say worth the investment.

Starbuck_II
2010-03-11, 08:51 PM
Back in 3.0, it used to be a class feature. Now it is just a feat.

tonberrian
2010-03-11, 10:03 PM
Psycrystals can equip items.

Ioun stones are items.

Ergo, your pet rock can have its own pet rock.

+1 for psycrystal.

Lycanthromancer
2010-03-11, 10:10 PM
Psycrystals can equip items.

Ioun stones are items.

Ergo, your pet rock can have its own pet rock.

+1 for psycrystal.It can also take Leadership, which can net you a pet crysmal to ride and some psions with attendant psicrystals.

"So I herd u liek r0x lol"

Lamech
2010-03-11, 10:15 PM
I would think that looking like a normal animal would be a pretty big benefit.
BBEG: A raven, hey raven say Nevermore
Raven: Caw Ca Caaw!*
*I hope you die in a fire.
or
BBEG: Hey a floating magic rock, *smash*

Defiant
2010-03-11, 10:16 PM
It can also take Leadership, which can net you a pet crysmal to ride and some psions with attendant psicrystals.

"So I herd u liek r0x lol"

The psicrystal can take leadership and have a cohort psicrystal of a higher level. Repeat ad nauseum.

taltamir
2010-03-11, 10:21 PM
they both have plusses and minusses. as some mentioned, the penalty for loss of familiar is much more severe, the familiar can be traded for cooler stuff.. both are useful for bitch slapping the action economy with "use magic device".

improved familiar can let you do some cool stuff... but not with psudeo dragon, that one sucks.
I think the best is the eladrin coure. Among its many powers and abilities, it has an always on circle of protection from evil. Meaning every ally within a 10 foot radius of it is completely immune to all mind affecting spells (which include every spell from the enchantment school). With its high fly speed, it can fly to an ally (freeing him from mind control) easily. It can be insubstantial, produce light at will, have a ton of immunities and resistances, etc etc etc.

Dragon familiar kinda sucks, but you can end up with a lot of really powerful allies played correctly (the bond harmlessly breaks when a dragon reaches 5 years old, without any penalty to you... if you didn't abuse it, it will remain a loyal ally afterwards... and you are free to bind another dragon familiar)

Kelb_Panthera
2010-03-11, 10:25 PM
Could a psicrystal take psicrystal affinity?*

*Obviously I mean without taking Hidden Talent first.

Yuki Akuma
2010-03-11, 10:26 PM
circle of protection from evil. Meaning every ally within a 10 foot radius of it is completely immune to all mind affecting spells (which include every spell from the enchantment school).

This misconception keeps being bandied around, which confuses me because it is not true.

It suppresses effects that possess or exert mental control over a warded creature. Note it doesn't make them immune - the dominate spell will kick in as soon as they're out of the circle.

Plenty of mind-affecting spells still work. It only blocks mind control and possession.


Could a psicrystal take psicrystal affinity?*

*Obviously I mean without taking Hidden Talent first.

It doesn't have a manifester level... so no.

taltamir
2010-03-11, 10:44 PM
This misconception keeps being bandied around, which confuses me because it is not true.

It suppresses effects that possess or exert mental control over a warded creature. Note it doesn't make them immune - the dominate spell will kick in as soon as they're out of the circle.

Plenty of mind-affecting spells still work. It only blocks mind control and possession.

It doesn't have a manifester level... so no.

the timer on the duration of the dominate spell continues to tick even while suppressed. This means you are immune as long as your familiar is within 10 feet for the duration of the spell. its not as good as "the spell never takes effect", but its nearly as good since the duration of the suppression is infinite, and the duration of the spell is limited.
You are right about it being "charm" and "compulsion" effects but not all "mind-affecting". I remembered wrong in this regard. what are some of the good enchantment spells that aren't either of those?
Also, there are other benefits to circle of protection of course.

This spell wards a creature from attacks by evil creatures, from mental control, and from summoned creatures. It creates a magical barrier around the subject at a distance of 1 foot. The barrier moves with the subject and has three major effects.

First, the subject gains a +2 deflection bonus to AC and a +2 resistance bonus on saves. Both these bonuses apply against attacks made or effects created by evil creatures.

Second, the barrier blocks any attempt to possess the warded creature (by a magic jar attack, for example) or to exercise mental control over the creature (including enchantment (charm) effects and enchantment (compulsion) effects that grant the caster ongoing control over the subject, such as dominate person). The protection does not prevent such effects from targeting the protected creature, but it suppresses the effect for the duration of the protection from evil effect. If the protection from evil effect ends before the effect granting mental control does, the would-be controller would then be able to mentally command the controlled creature. Likewise, the barrier keeps out a possessing life force but does not expel one if it is in place before the spell is cast. This second effect works regardless of alignment.

Third, the spell prevents bodily contact by summoned creatures. This causes the natural weapon attacks of such creatures to fail and the creatures to recoil if such attacks require touching the warded creature. Good summoned creatures are immune to this effect. The protection against contact by summoned creatures ends if the warded creature makes an attack against or tries to force the barrier against the blocked creature. Spell resistance can allow a creature to overcome this protection and touch the warded creature.

Arcane Material Component
A little powdered silver with which you trace a 3-foot -diameter circle on the floor (or ground) around the creature to be warded.

Optimystik
2010-03-12, 08:25 AM
You are right about it being "charm" and "compulsion" effects but not all "mind-affecting". I remembered wrong in this regard. what are some of the good enchantment spells that aren't either of those?

Just look for spells with [Mind-Affecting] but neither of the other two descriptors, like Phantasmal Killer and Crisis of Life.

aazru
2010-03-13, 06:49 PM
So :smallbiggrin: after hearing my arguments I got green light on taking psicrystal affinity.
Factotum gets all psionic skills(duh) has inspiration points(which feel kinda like power points imho) and he uses them to "manifest" some "powers" based on int :smallamused: Telepathy from Mindbender... And with my circumstance bonus(beer was on me) I got it with less effort than I expected. he he
How will it work out? I'm pretty new to this game and never used familiars before. Is there some guide? :smallredface:

Initially I needed feature(IC) to save my chars mind after dieing. My pc is "blessed" with altered form of Reincarnation(some time after death my pc reappears in a shrine of god that "blessed" him). His memory(and sanity) is fuzzy at that point:smallwink: That is not the first time. In one word - he needs an anchor to keep him from going insane. Again X)
You see why I liked it so much for IC reasons? :) Floating manifestation of your mind is more cool than animal or item for keeping your mind together after a bad day.