View Full Version : D&D 3.x Other Skill Based Magic (Brainstorming)

2015-06-04, 12:31 AM
So I've been looking at my old Star Wars d20 rulebook and Force Skills and well they do 2 things that you don't really see done in 3.5. The first is Cast from HP, which works in SWd20 because every form of healing is 1/hour/target and typically pretty paltry, since it uses a VP/WP system natural healing (of VP) on the other hand is Character Level/hour so you will fully heal in a day unless you take WP damage which is 1/day. The second is it's in effect a skill based magic system which is, to be honest, a cool idea/concept.

So what I was thinking about is making a class, or set of classes, which used a similar spell system. I was thinking about maybe using an MP pool, so that you can use out of combat effects without having to worry about them being effectively at will with a little resource investment in out of combat healing, or else simply making it at-will. As for the actual system, I have to figure out what some effects and options should be. I was also thinking about giving them a separate pool of skill points for the Magic Skills instead of using regular skill points. This serves a few purposes. First it divorces it from Int as the one stat to rule all, second it means you can make it so they can have some regular skills (say 2 + Int or 4 + Int) without that making them have to give it magical powers, third it means you don't have to balance them against regular skills, four it means you don't have to allow everything that affects skill checks to affect them if you don't want to design it that way.

So anybody interested in seeing this done/maybe helping out a bit?

As for abilities I thought that the actual SWd20 Force Skills might be a decent place to start, but if it's not the force we can go for more overt magical effects. Although then we have to ask how we want to fluff it, and a few ways come to mind.

1) Truename Magic: i.e. make it a fix on the one sort of Skill Based casting 3.5 already has. Each skill would represent knowledge of a type of truename or word of power, for example [made up truename for wind] might be a skill which would allow controlling just that the wind, a fire one might be able to do blasting, ignition, and even being able to do things like animate and control fire, I'm not sure. It's been a while since I read LeGuin but there's plenty of effects that could be made here. For Truenaming I'd probably suggest making it fully at-will.

2) Psionics: Don't get me wrong I like 3.5's psionics mechanically. It just feels like magic by another name to me, though; well ok magic with a crystal fixation. This would give us a way to make it feel substantially different. Probably stick to the more classic psi abilities (telepathy, telekinesis, morale bonuses, etc) and look at GURPS Psi and 2e Psionics for ideas as to the 'skills'. Probably go with a PSP system for this one. Actually since 2e Psionics worked very much like 2e Non-Weapon Proficiencies (modified ability checks) this could be said to be updating 2e psionics to 3.x.

3) Spirit Brokering: Each skill represents a type of omnipresent spirit, and your skill at brokering with it for its unique magical power. Go for a bit of a shamanistic/animistic feel. This would give us a good amount of versatility in what sort of effects we could create. Probably use some sort of mana as spiritual currency and what you give the spirits in exchange for their aid, and possibly allow certain rare incenses to be used in place of MP or to recover it (in short MP healing potions/expendable pearls of power).

4) Just say it's magic, generic wizardry, what all. Less tasty I'd say.

I'm sure we could think of other options if we put our minds to it. So anyone think this looks like something worth working on/have any suggestions?

2015-06-04, 03:56 AM
1) Do you mean truename as in <whatever rulebook it was in> or some sort of fix floating around here?
2) I saw metamagic tied to a skill (google Incursion: Halls of the Goblin King and play a mage) but not other magic stuff.

2015-06-04, 12:05 PM
My suggestion would be to examine the True20 magic system. Spells & powers are feats and you roll a Spellcasting Skill vs the DCof the effect. There's someone here http://http://www.minmaxboards.com/index.php?PHPSESSID=ogdvk8padbhaq0ips94919lar3&topic=67.0 with a similar gimmick. Hope this helps! :smallbiggrin:

2015-06-04, 05:12 PM
Many has been the evening I've toyed with this idea myself, a few ideas which stuck enough to bug me ever since are:

1. Each type of skill casting (arcane, divine, psionic, truenaming, etc) should be split up into a few (3-5 probably) different skill 'schools' thereby ensuring customisation of magic ability ranges, whereby a specialist cannot be great at other schools, and a generalist will sacrifice raw power for diversity.

2. Tie the skill acquirement to a static number, based on the class granting it, and limit the number of points you can put into it by the number of skill ranks you have in the appropriate knowledge (arcana, religion, psionics, etc).

3. Use the ranks in the casting skill to directly infer save DCs, allows a re-balance of save/effect ratios and does away with 'spell level' issues altogether.

I'd REALLY like to see this done well, and would be more than happy to assist in any way I could to make it work. I've never found the impetus to attack a project like this alone, I think it needs a lot of input to get it right but ultimately could make for much more interesting gaming for casters, and allow a complete magic overhaul to rebalance the top tier of gameplay. I'll keep an eye out in case you decide to attack the idea, I hope you do! :smallbiggrin:

2015-06-04, 06:22 PM
I wonder what could have caused you to take a sudden interest in Jedi casting mechanics :smalltongue:

I have a very incomplete truenamer rework with this general idea. Instead of having it be a skill, they just make a straight (namer level + Int bonus) check. Each utterance has a specific DC which must be met (typically fairly low) and the effects scale based on how much you beat the DC by.

Having seperate skills might be a good thing if you're trying to create seperate specializations, though, and you could even key different magical specialties off of different ability scores. Regardless, you would probably want to have some sort of incentive for dabblers since 3.5 naturally rewards focusing on one area with exponential spell power progression.

As for mana, the best system I've seen thus far is this one (http://www.dnd-wiki.org/wiki/Mana-Based_Spellcasting_%283.5e_Variant_Rule%29) (the basic idea is that your mana pool stays constant with level, and spells simply cost less mana as you level up)
It's very easy to adapt to your own specific system, and very easy to link to attributes (such as Constitution) since it stays more or less static throughout your levels. It also accurately captures the fact that a Wizard 15/Cleric 1 would be able to cast many 1st-level Wizard spells per day but only a few 1st-level Cleric spells

I apologize for poor formatting due to copy/paste. The text file on my computer has bolding, underlines, and even fancy font for utterance names, I swear!
What follows is an attempt at reworking the Truenamer into something less clunky, broken, and otherwise nonsensical. First here are some key concepts which the redesign will center around...

-Beckon Person/Beckon Monster is the most functional form of truespeak check.

These spells have an unusual duration which is based upon how much your truespeak check exceeds a static DC, found under the "truename component" label at the end of the spell. While the spells themselves are lackluster, this mechanic is possibly the most attractive thing about the entire chapter, and is the design concept around which I will focus when reworking the utterances.

-Basing any sort of spellcasting off of a skill check is a bad idea.

This mechanic is especially bad for truenamers because of the silly attempt to maintain check difficulty by having the check increase by CRx2. Yet the problems with this concept can also be seen with epic spells (in addition to the general issues with epic levels). Most sources insist on weighing the value of all skills equally, and basing spellcasting off of some skills makes this a terrible assumption. The game tends to break when you can buy a +10 bonus to a spellcasting skill at the same price as a +10 bonus to appraisal.
Truespeak checks will now be based solely on attributes and the truenamer's caster level, possibly with modifications from a select few items (amulet of the silver tongue, for example) which will be costed appropriately.

-The same ability should not become more difficult to use with levels.

This really should go without saying, but it is one of the key issues with truenamers. Even if difficulty scaled at CRx1 instead of CRx2, it would still create a number of problems.

-http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?214115-In-the-Beginning-Was-the-Word-and-the-Word-Was-Suck-A-Guide-to-Truenamers is an awesome guide.

While the name of the guide implies that truenamers suck in general, to the contrary it is quite illuminating about where the design team succeeded and why (other than an obvious lack of editing) certain ideas just don't work.

So with that, the first step is to redefine the truespeaking mechanics. This rework replaces all classes, utterances, skills, items, feats, and mechanics presented in the Truenaming section of the Tome of Magic.

Specific changes to wording in mechanics
"Truespeaker" is the word which refers to an individual who is using or can use an utterance, in much the same way that a spellcaster casts spells. When referring to the use of a particular utterance, the initiator is referred to as the "speaker" much the same as a "caster" of a spell.

Truespeaking checks
When attempting to make an utterance or cast a truename spell, you must make a truespeak check to determine whether you fail or succeed, and in the latter case by how much you succeed. This check works like a skill check, but is modified only by your truenamer level plus your Intelligence modifier; truespeaking may not have ranks placed into it. A natural 1 is not an automatic failure for these checks, and a natural 20 is not an automatic success.
Utterances and truename spells will generally require a certain static DC to succeed, with the DC depending on the spell and typically growing more difficult with higher-level utterances and spells. Exceeding this DC with your truespeaking check will typically increase the power of the utterance in some way, based on how much the DC was exceeded by (also referred to as the success margin).

Speaking an Utterance
To speak an utterance, you must speak in a clear voice as loudly as a spellcaster. Each utterance is a spell-like ability that requires a successful truespeaking check. Because the language of truenames requires such precision of pronunciation and timing, an utterance takes a standard action to perform and provokes attacks of opportunity from threatening enemies.
Utterances are spell-like abilities with verbal components (unlike other spell-like abilities, which have no components). Your effective caster level for your utterances is equal to your truenamer level. The DC of an utterance is equal to 10 + your Charisma modifier, and typically increases with a higher success margin. The effective spell level of an utterance is equal to one-third your truepeaker level, to a minimum of 1st.

Reversed Utterances
Many utterances have a reversed version which creates an effect in some ways logically opposite of the normal version. A truepeaker may select between the normal and reversed versions of an utterance at will.

Speaking Defensively
A truenamer may "speak defensively" by making a concentration check, as normal for spell-like abilities.

Spell Resistance
Spell resistance applies to your utterances as spell-like abilities, so you must succeed on a caster level check to overcome the spell resistance of creatures you speak utterances on, depending on the particular entry of the utterance. Because your utterances are spell-like abilities, the Spell Penetration and Greater Spell Penetration feats make those caster level checks easier, just as they do for spellcasters. When you deliver an utterance, it has an effective caster level equal to your truespeaker level. If you know the true name of a creature, you may use it when speaking an utterance on that creature; increasing the Truespeaking DC of the utterance by 5 and bypassing the creature's spell resistance. See "Personal Truename" below.

Personal Truename
Creatures with an Intelligence score of 3 or higher have personal truenames, which you can discover through research.

Other mechanical changes
The Universe Keeps Track of You (unchanged)
Target (utterances now list their target within the utterance description)
The Universe Must Hear You (replaces "The Universe Hears Just Fine)
While utterances are not language-dependent and do not require the target to hear you (similar to vocal components of spells), an inability to speak is similarly debilitating to a truenamer as it is to a spellcaster.
Range (utterances now list their range within the utterance description)
The Law of Sequence (REMOVED)

The Law of Resistance
Whenever a truespeaker succeeds at an utterance, the universe becomes temporarily more resistant to being altered by that same individual. A truespeaker may succeed on a number of utterances each day equal to her Charisma modifier without consequence. Each additional utterance the truespeaker successfully makes in the same day applies a cumulative -2 penalty to her truespeaking checks. These penalties persist until the truespeaker can spend at least nine continuous hours without speaking an utterance. This time need not necessarily be spent resting or otherwise concentrating, it is simply the amount of time needed for the universe to again become malleable to that individual's utterances.

Metamagic feats or effects cannot be applied to utterances, even if the effect could normally be applied to a spell-like ability (e.g. a metamagic rod or the sudden maximize feat). Instead utterances may be improved by new syllable feats presented below. These feats differ from metamagic in that they tend to add seperate additional effects rather than improving existing values.

Syllable Feats
Feats with the "syllable" descriptor are called "syllable feats", and may be used to enhance utterances. These feats are applied to an utterance as it is spoken, similar to how a sorcerer uses metamagic (but without the increase in casting time). Though analogous to metamagic, syllable feats typically apply conditions or effects to creatures targeted by the utterance they modify rather than improving the existing effects of an utterance.
Syllable feats penalize truespeaking checks made for the utterance they are applied to, reducing the power and success chance of that utterance. Multiple syllable feats may be applied to the same utterance.

Counterspeaking and Dispelling
As spell-like abilities, utterances can be countered or dispelled much like normal spells. However, since many utterances are not based on a particular spell, they typically cannot be countered using the specific spell approach. They may still be countered with dispel magic and similar effects as normal, as well as by an identical utterance.
A truespeaker using an utterance as a counterspell must succeed the utterance's base truespeaking DC for the counterspell to be valid, at which point the normal rules for counterspells are used. The truespeaker gains no additional benefit from exceeding the truespeaking DC of the utterance, and may not use true names or syllable feats while counterspeaking.

Utterances which target multiple creatures or objects
Utterances which target multiple creatures apply spell resistance individually for each creature. If you wish to use the truename of a specific creature, you may only do so for one target per utterance. Utterances from the Lexicons of the Perfected Map and the Crafted Tool cannot have a personal truename applied to them.

Utterances are divided into three lexicons: the Lexicon of the Evolving Mind (consisting of utterances which affect one or more creatures), the Lexicon of the Crafted Tool (consisting of utterances which affect items or objects), and the Lexicon of the Perfected Map (consisting of utterances which affect places). The lexicon from which an utterance is taken may have internal meaning to truenaming feats and abilities, but does not otherwise change the way the utterance functions.

Hit Die: d6
Starting Gold: 4d4x10
Starting Age: As wizard

Class Skills (4 + Int modifier per level, x4 at 1st level)
Concentration, Craft, Decipher Script, Diplomacy, Knowledge (all skills, taken individually), Perform (oratory), Speak Language, Spellcraft, Use Magic Device.

Reading utterance entries
Utterance entries are very similar to spell entries. Utterances always require a verbal component and always take 1 standard action to cast.

Many utterances have a reversed version, indicated by a Reversed: heading. If the range, truespeaking DC, targets, or other attributes of the utterance are different between the two versions of the utterance, the new attributes will be listed beneath the reversed heading. Attributes not listed are unchanged from the normal version.

Many utterances also have stronger effects with an increased success margin over the base truespeaking DC. The manner in which a high truespeaking check improves the utterance is given under the Success Margin heading. Seperate headings are listed for both the normal and reversed versions if their success margin bonuses are different. Otherwise both versions should be assumed to gain the same benefit from a high truespeaking check.


Celestial Favor
Lexicon of the Evolving Mind
Level: Truenamer 6
Truespeaking DC: 15
Range: 60 ft.
Targets: One creature with Intelligence 4 or higher
Duration: 5 minutes
Saving Throw: Will negates (harmless)
Spell Resistance: Yes (harmless)

Your immaculate words invest your target with the power of the celestial planes.

The subject is endowed with celestial power and gains the Half-Celestial template (MM 144). Treat this as an acquired template, and do not change the creature's type, even if it is not an outsider. The creature is treated as good-aligned for the purpose of spells, abilities, items, etc. whose effects depend on alignment for the duration of this utterance.
The subject does not gain spell-like abilities based on Hit Dice as normal for the Half Celestial template (but see "success margin" below).

Fiendish Power

You twist your words into vicious snarls, drawing power from the nether planes to imbue your target with fiendish power.

The subject is infused with fiendish power and gains the Half-Fiend template (MM 147). Treat this as an acquired template, and do not change the creature's type, even if it is not an outsider. The creature is treated as evil-aligned for the purpose of spells, abilities, items, etc. whose effects depend on alignment for the duration of this utterance.
The subject does not gain spell-like abilities based on Hit Dice as normal for the Half Fiend template (but see "success margin" below).

Success Margin
-For each two points of your success margin, this utterance's save DC increases by 1.

-For each two points of your success margin, this utterance's duration increases by 1 minute.

-Treat the subject as a creature with hit dice are equal to half your success margin for the purpose of determining which spell-like abilities it has access to. All daily uses of these abilities are available without requiring rest beforehand.

Unbound Magic
Lexicon of the Evolving Mind
Level: Truenamer 3
Truespeaking DC: 10
Range: 60 ft.
Targets: One spellcaster or creature
Duration: Instantaneous
Saving Throw: None
Spell Resistance: No

With a terse shout, you disperse the magic affecting a target creature

This utterance affects a creature as a targeted dispel magic, but can dispel only a single active spell effect on the creature. If you are aware of a specific spell effect on the target, you may attempt to dispel that particular effect. Otherwise, the effect dispelled is random. If the targeted creature is a result of an ongoing spell effect, such as from animate objects or a summon monster spell, that effect cannot be dispelled by this utterance.
Alternatively, you may attempt to counter a spell that is being cast by a creature within range. To do this follows all the rules for counterspelling with a dispel magic spell.
Your caster level check made to dispel an effect or counter a spell is equal to your truespeaking check for this utterance.
Unbind magic gives the caster knowledge of the names of spells and spell effects which are dispelled, but not necessarily of their caster level, their function, or their remaining duration.

Success Margin (normal)
-(no additional effects)

Spell Rebirth
Truespeaking DC: 14
Range: 60 ft. or as spell; see text
Targets: One creature or as spell; see text
Duration: see text
Saving Throw: None or as spell; see text
Spell Resistance: No or as spell; see text

With a rasping cry, you reweave lost magic.

You apply to the subject a spell effect which you have previously dispelled with unbind magic. The spell effect must be one which was dispelled within the last hour, and no dispelled effect may be applied more than once per instance dispelled (though if multiple instances of the same effect have been dispelled, you may still apply each instance once). The effect's duration is its remaining duration prior to being dispelled or one hour, whichever is less.
Alternatively, you may replicate the effects of a spell countered with Unbind Magic. The spell must be one which was countered within the last hour, and no spell may be replicated this way more than once per spell countered (though if you have countered the same spell multiple times you may still replicate it once for each time it was countered). Treat this effect the same as casting the spell normally except that it has only a verbal component, always has a casting time of 1 standard action, and uses the caster level of the original caster.
Spells with a casting time longer than 1 standard action may not be replicated with a reversed unbind magic. Neither syllable feats nor metamagic feats may be applied to unbind magic when it is used to replicate a spell.

Success Margin (reversed)
-When applying a spell effect to a creature, you may apply an additional dispelled effect, if available, to that creature for each six points by which you've succeeded the Truespeak check.

Hidden Truth
Lexicon of the Evolving Mind
Level: Truenamer 2
Truespeaking DC: 12
Range: 60 ft.
Targets: One creature
Duration: 5 minutes or until discharged
Saving Throw: Will negates (harmless)
Spell Resistance: Yes (Harmless)

With many flowing syllables, you persuade unknown secrets to filter into the subject's mind.

This utterance grants a target creature a +10 insight bonus to a single knowledge check made within the duration, and may achieve a result higher than 10 even if untrained. The subject may decide whether or not to expend the bonus on each check, but must make that decision prior to rolling the check.
If the subject has bardic knowledge, lore, or a similar class feature, this bonus may be applied to that check instead.

Mental Insulation
Duration: 5 minutes
Saving Throw: Will negates
Spell Resistance: Yes

With a monotonic cadence you inure the target's mind to new thoughts.

A target subjected to this utterance becomes incapable of thinking clearly, and cannot make Intelligence- or Wisdom-based skill checks. Such checks, where unavoidable, automatically fail. The absence of distracting thought gives the subject a +5 bonus to all concentration checks made during the duration of the effect.
The effects of this ability do not actually lower the subject's intelligence or disable rational thought, but rather prevents inspiration or noticing small details. Spellcasting and similar practices are unaffected -- the art is so ingrained into the subject's mind that it is always available.

Success Margin
-For each two points of your success margin, this utterance's save DC increases by 1.

-For each two points of your success margin, this utterance's duration increases by 1 minute

Inertial Surge
Lexicon of the Evolving Mind
Level: Truenamer 2
Truespeaking DC: 20
Range: 60 ft.
Targets: One creature
Duration: 1 round; see text
Saving Throw: None
Spell Resistance: Yes (Harmless)

With your words, magical impediments part like water before the subject.

You grant the target the ability to act normally regardless of magical effects which impede movement. This functions as freedom of movement (PH 233), but applies only to magical barriers and impediments. This effect does not destroy the impediments, and all other creatures are affected normally.
Even effects which do not normally allow spell resistance, such as many conjuration spells, are magical enough to be affected by this utterance so long as the freedom of movement spell would be effective. Only spells and effects with an instantaneous duration (such as a net created by major creation) are nonmagical enough to be unaffected.

Inertial Transfixion
Truespeaking DC: 15
Saving Throw: Will negates
Spell Resistance: Yes

With your words, you mire the target within the fabric of reality, rooting it in its current position. No sooner does it attempt to move than an inexorable vacuum pulls it back into place.

Your target becomes rooted in place, entirely unable to move from its current square. It can take actions normally insofar as those actions do not involve movement. Actions which involve moving the target either fail to do so or exclude movement from their normal effects. However, spells with the teleportation descriptor which attempt to move the subject are able to do so, and furthermore end the duration of this utterance.
If the creature is affected by a freedom of movement spell or a similar effect, the two effects cancel out during their shared duration, causing the subject to resume normal mobility. Once either effect's duration expires, the remaining effect resumes normal functionality.

Success Margin
-For each five points of your success margin, this utterance's duration increases by 1 round.

Energy Negation
Lexicon of the Evolving Mind
Level: Truenamer 2
Truespeaking DC: 14
Range: 60 ft.
Targets: One creature
Duration: 5 rounds
Saving Throw: None
Spell Resistance: Yes (Harmless)

The air crackles with your words as you protect your target from energy.

A nimbus of silvery power surrounds your target, absorbing a specific type of energy specified upon speaking the utterance. This utterance grants your target resistance 5 to one type of energy (acid, cold, electricity, fire, or sonic).

Success Margin (normal)
-For each two points of your success margin, the duration of this utterance increases by 1 round.

-For each point of your success margin, the energy resistance granted increases by 1.

Energy Infusion
Truespeaking DC: 18
Spell Resistance: Yes

The target is wreathed in energy which lashes out at its attackers.

When you speak this utterance, you imbue your target's skin or exterior with energy: acid, cold, electricity, or fire. Foes who strike the subject with a melee weapon while adjacent take 1d6 points of damage of the selected energy type.

Success Margin (reversed)
-For each two points of your success margin, the duration of this utterance increases by 1 round.

-For each four points of your success margin, this utterance deals 1d6 more damage of the selected energy type.

Universal Aptitude
Lexicon of the Evolving Mind
Level: Truenamer 1
Truespeaking DC: 8
Range: 60 ft.
Targets: One creature
Duration: 5 rounds
Saving Throw: None
Spell Resistance: Yes (Harmless)

Normal: Your rolling tenor affords the subject great fortune.

Your target is favored by the universe, and the world reworks itself in small ways to make her success more likely. The target's lockpicks might become slightly more supple, or the ground beneath her feet auspiciously clear of debris while tumbling. The subject gains a +2 luck bonus on all skill checks.

Reversed: The target is wreathed in energy which lashes out at its attackers.

Spell Resistance: Yes

When you speak the reverse of this utterance, you imbue your target's skin or exterior with energy: acid, cold, electricity, or fire. Foes who strike the subject with a melee weapon while adjacent take 1d6 points of damage of the selected energy type.

Success Margin
-For each two points by which you've succeeded the truespeaking check, the duration of this utterance increases by 1 round.

-For each three points by which you've succeeded the truespeaking check, the luck bonus to the subject's skills increases by 1.

Truename Aegis
Lexicon of the Evolving Mind
Level: Truenamer 1
Truespeaking DC: 12
Range: 60 ft.
Target: One creature
Duration: 5 minutes
Saving Throw: Will negates (harmless)
Spell Resistance: No; see text

A dim glow suffuses the subject, protecting it from an individual you specify.

This utterance wards the subject as the spell protection from evil, except as noted above and that it functions only against a single individual you specify on making the utterance, and does so regardless of alignment.
The speaker may select one creature to protect the subject from upon making this utterance. The speaker must be familiar with the particular creature to be protected against, not merely its race or actions. Seeing the creature is not necessary, though it is certainly sufficient; a detailed description or realistic depiction of the individual is enough to select it. The creature this utterance protects against need not be within the utterance's range, or even on the same plane as the speaker.
The subject of this utterance is protected from possession or mental control only if such control is attempted by the selected creature.
If the speaker uses the truename of the selected creature when making this utterance, the saving throw and armor class bonuses double to +4. Furthermore, the selected creature is treated as a summoned creature for the effects of this utterance, if it is not already summoned. The use of the selected creature's truename also prevents its spell resistance (if any) from allowing it to make physical contact with the warded creature.

Truename Nemesis
Truespeaking DC: 10

a crackling magical aura pervades the subject, acting against it to allow an individual you specify to more easily combat it.

This utterance leaves the subject vulnerable to a single individual you specify (possibly yourself). The subject takes a -3 penalty to Armor Class against the specified individual's attacks, as well as a -3 penalty to saves against spells and effects caused by the specified individual.
The speaker may select one creature to which the subject becomes vulnerable upon making this utterance. The speaker must be familiar with the specified creature, not merely its race or actions. Seeing the creature is not necessary, though it is certainly sufficient; a detailed description or realistic depiction of the individual is enough to select it. The specified creature need not be within the utterance's range, or even on the same plane as the speaker.
If the speaker uses the truename of the selected creature when making this utterance, the saving throw and armor class penalties double to -6. Furthermore, the subject may not benefit from the effects of any protection or magic circle spell or similar effect where the specified individual is concerned. Thus, the specified individual could even charm or otherwise magically influence the subject, even though that effect is not alignment-specific.

Success Margin
-For each three points of your success margin, the duration of this utterance increases by 1 minute.

Legendary Steel
Lexicon of the Crafted Tool
Level: Truenamer 3
Truespeaking DC: 16
Range: 60 ft.
Target: One weapon
Duration: 1 round
Saving Throw: None
Spell Resistance: No

You speak of a weapon's legendary power, bestowing magical might which exists only in legends.

For a brief time you grant legendary power to a target weapon, granting it a +2 enhancement bonus. Nonmagical weapons become masterwork for the duration of this utterance, if they are not already. Magical weapons add the bonus granted by this utterance on top of whatever enhancement bonus they already possess, and such a weapon may achieve an enhancement bonus greater than +5 by means of this utterance.
At the speaker's option, the enhancement bonus granted by this utterance may instead be used to add any magical weapon properties desired. Adding such properties consumes an amount of bonus equal to the property's base price modifier, and properties with a static price (i.e. not measured in enhancement bonus equivalent) cannot be added. These properties are added to any the weapon already has, but duplicates do not stack. If the weapon was not already magical, at least a +1 enhancement bonus must be added before any other properties can be added.
Despite the name, this utterance may affect crafted weapons of any material, though it must be intended for use as a weapon (thus, improvised weapons and natural attacks may not be enhanced).

Success Margin (normal)
-For each three points of your success margin, the enhancement bonus granted by this utterance increases by one.

Nefarious Blades
Truespeaking DC: 14
Duration: Instantaneous

With a croaking whisper you coax unattended weapons to lash out of their own accord.

You cause an unattended melee or throwing weapon (or a weapon carried on the person of a willing creature) to fly towards a designated creature and strike of its own accord. Both the weapon and its designated target must be within range of the utterance. The weapon uses your truespeaking check as its attack roll, plus any enhancement bonuses the weapon may possess. If it hits it deals the base damage for a weapon of its type plus any enhancement bonuses.
The attack comes from the direction of the weapon's position prior to its attack, and is considered a melee attack. The weapon itself is considered the attacker for effects which deal damage or cause other reciporocal effects when a subject is struck, where applicable. Once it has attacked, the weapon falls inert into a square adjacent to the creature it attacked in the direction the weapon came from to do so.
Unlike most utterances, nefarious blades can critically strike on a natural 20 (and only a 20) and will miss on a natural 1. In the case of a natural 20, reroll the truespeaking check for use as a critical confirmation roll: this second roll otherwise has no bearing on the utterance's success or failure. If the critical is confirmed then double the damage dealt, regardless of the weapon's normal critical multiplier.
Magical weapons do not apply any special properties they may have to targets they strike due to this utterance. Despite the name, this utterance may affect any type of weapon so long as it is intended as such (thus, improvised weapons may not be used).

Success Margin (reverse)
-For each two points of your success margin, this utterance may affect an additional weapon in range. Apply the same truespeaking check to the attack rolls and critical confirmation rolls (if needed) of all weapons.
Each weapon affected chooses targets individually, and may choose the same or different target as other weapons affected. Sneak attack damage and other precision damage may not be applied to a single target more than once.

2015-06-04, 07:39 PM
Tippy had some good ideas here (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showsinglepost.php?p=18415310&postcount=2). Good enough for me to want to try it anyway.

2015-07-09, 01:20 PM
So here's my rough alpha of something. "Fluff-wise" it's psionic powers, but haven't got the fluff written and it's mostly psionic because 1) it gives an easy set of guidelines as to what abilities are appropriate, 2) because while I love 3.5 Psionics I hate 3.5 Psionics because it's Magic with Crystals as opposed to really feeling like psionics, 3) at least in 2e psionics functioned like non-weapon proficiencies so it appeals to my childhood nostalgia for TSR editions of D&D.

I currently have 7 "Devotions" which a character can put ranks in, all of which fall into the discipline of Telepathy. I intend to make tk ones, self-augmentation ones, and clairsentience ones, potentially even psychoportation, but full fledged Evocations psychokinesis and Conjuration metacreativity are unlikely to happen. In addition to the 7 "Devotions" there is 1 new skill. First though some basic background rules.

Psionic Devotions and traditional Psionics: If you have a Psionic Reserve Pool you gain the Psionic Subtype. You may maintain a psionic focus as long as you have at least one Psionic Reserve Point or one psionic power point. You may substitute ranks in Meditation for Concentration for the purposes of Psionic Feats, and may use Meditation in place of Concentration to gain Psionic Focus.

Psionic Reserve Pool: Work in progress obviously. At the moment if you have one it holds up to 0.5*(Wisdom + Charisma) + 2*character level Psionic Reserve Points (PRPs), or in non math half the total of your Wisdom and Charisma score (so ~10-22 typically) plus twice your character level (2-40). It's really a place holder for now until I figure things out more. You regain 1/3rd of your maximum PRPs every 8 hours, 2/3rds with 8 hours of rest, and may use the Psyche Surgery Devotion or Meditation skill to regain additional PRPs.

Devotions: Devotions work like skills. The differences are: They are not skills and therefore don't gain a benefit from things which add to skill checks (might tag certain effects), or allow use of skills untrained, et, and they do not use Skill ranks but instead Devotion ranks which are obtained separately either via class feature or feat. Otherwise they work mostly the same. Taking 10 requires a situation where you are unthreatened, taking 20 requires you to pay the "failure" (or lowest possible) cost 19 times in addition to the desired result (so takes a minimum of 19 extra PRP). All Devotions are Trained Only. I will present two methods in the post following this one, a Placeholder Class (Proto-Psionicist) which will get Chassis + Devotions and quite literally nothing else, and a placeholder feat. These are for if people want to test this out while I'm still fishing for advice on how to actually do this, and have a high chance of being modified if this goes anywhere. For example the feat route will probably be less easy in the end, and there will likely be 3 classes (Fighter/Mage/Thief) which each get actual class features and new things that only they can do with Devotions. I just haven't you know made them so I'm putting something that can be used until then (note Alpha).

Some Devotions have a range of X or "telepathic communication" this means you can use it on any creature you are in telepathic contact with. If you have TeleComm you may make a TeleComm check as a swift action as if to Send Thoughts to establish contact paying points as normal for a Send Thoughts check (if you fail the TeleComm check the action to use the other devotion is still expended but you do not expend any Psionic Reserve Points on the other action), if it is multi-target you must instead pay points as if with a Broadcast TeleComm check. You may choose to a Telescan into this TeleComm check but doing so increases the cost in PRPs and reduces the range as if you were using the Telescan function (because you are) and functions as the Telescan function (because it is one).

Some Devotions have a Prerequisite. At the moment all such Prerequisites are another Devotion that you must have equal or greater ranks in. For example Craft Hallucination requires Influence Emotion. You must have 4 or more ranks in Influence Emotion to get a 4th rank in Craft Hallucination. I am uncertain if this is a good idea from a game play point of view. It lets me make stronger and more advanced Devotions (Craft Hallucination is a more advanced ability than Influence Emotion, but at the same time I don't know if they need to be stronger. And in this half finished state I'm not sure people will be able to answer.


TeleComm (Cha):

This devotion can be used in one of four methods. Send Message allows you to send a specific creature a telepathic communication, broadcast allows you to send a missive to all creatures in a range (you may add a single defining trait, this trait may not be subjectively based on your beliefs i.e. allies),

Send Message: As a standard action you may send a message up to check result words in length to a known creature within a maximum distance determined by your check result.

Familiarity with a creature affects prp cost. Never met (requires a good description unless broadcast) x4, met once x2, acquaintance x1, close friend x0.5, physical intimacy x0.25.

You gain a +5 bonus to checks to contact indirect relatives (uncles, cousins, etc) no more than 8 steps removed, and a +10 for direct relatives (siblings, children, parents). A target which you have never met imposes a -10 penalty, reduced to -5 if you have an object which they invested in emotionally or which was once part of them. You may attempt to contact a direct relative you have never met without suffering a penalty, and an indirect relative without penalty if you have an object they invested in emotionally, and only -5 (+0 with relative bonus) if you merely have

You may choose to use a reduced distance to use the cost for that result. If it is at least 2 less than you could have obtained the cost is then halved.

Cost minimum 1. Save DC is for Telescan usage below.

ResultDistanceCostSave DC
4 or less100-ft1 mpAuto-success
5-9400-ft1 mpAuto-success
10-141000-ft2 mp10
15-191 mile4 mp12
20-245 miles6 mp15
25-2925 miles10 mp20
30-32100 miles12 mp23
33-351000 miles14 mp25
36-38Planar16 mp30
39-45Interplanar20 mp35
46-50-20 mp40
51+-24 mp50

If you fail to reach the distance desired you must pay 1 prp times any modifier. You may set a maximum distance you wish to achieve but if it is insufficient you pay 1/2 the cost and become aware of this. If you go to the highest granted by your roll and it is insufficient you pay the full cost and become aware it failed. Mind Blank blocks contact with this Talent.

A creature visible to you is always considered a friend (even if you've never met them before).

Broadcast: You may pay triple the regular price to broadcast the mental message to all creatures or all creatures which fulfill a specific criteria such as type, subtype, race, alignment, or other single aspect or lack there of (all elves is acceptable, as is all non-elves or all good creatures, but all good elves is not, neither is all non-good elves).

True Telepathy: As a standard action you can use this Talent to grant yourself telepathy. The cost, duration, and range granted is listed below. When the duration would end you may pay the cost again as an immediate action to restore the duration to its full length. You may choose to cancel if the result is less than you desired but doing so costs you 2 mp.


5 or lessFailureFailure2 mp
6-1020 ft1 minute8 mp
11-1540 ft1 minute8 mp
16-1860 ft1 minute8 mp
19-2160 ft10 minutes10 mp
22-2460 ft10 minutes8 mp
25-2780 ft10 minutes8 mp
28-3080 ft30 minutes8 mp
31-3380 ft30 minutes6 mp
34-36100 ft30 minutes6 mp
37-39100 ft1 hour6 mp
40-42120 ft1 hour6mp
43-45120 ft1 hour4 mp
46-50120 ft1 hour2 mp
51-55120 ft1 hour0 mp
56-60140 ft1 hour0 mp
61+140 ft + 20ft/5 points above 561 hour0 mp

Telescan: Make a check as if attempting to send message. Instead of receiving a message the target must make a Will save (see table) or have their surface thoughts read (as if with Detect Thoughts). This costs 2 additional prp after all modifiers for Send Message and uses the range of a check 2 steps worse.

Mind Shield (Wis):
You may make a Mind Shield check as an immediate action when you would have to make a Will save, gaining a bonus to the save dependent upon the skill result. You may choose to accept a lesser bonus in exchange to pay a reduced cost.

9 or less-2 mp
10-14+23 mp
15-19+33 mp
20-24+44 mp
25-29+64 mp
30-34+86 mp
35-39+84 mp
40-44+106 mp
[td]45-49Auto-success8 mp
50-54Auto-success6 mp
55-59Auto-success4 mp
60+Auto-success2 mp

Prevent Possession: You may make a check as a standard action to block any attempt to exercise mental control over you (including enchantment (charm) effects and enchantment (compulsion) effects that grant the caster ongoing control over the subject, such as dominate person) for 10 minutes. The protection does not prevent such effects from targeting the you, but it suppresses the effect for the duration of the effect. If the effect ends before the effect granting mental control does, the would-be controller would then be able to mentally command the controlled creature. Using this ability again while it is active resets the duration.

Making the check costs you 1 prp and gaining the benefit costs an amount of prp determined by the result, though you may choose not to pay this cost (in which case the effect fizzles).

4 or lessFailure
5-79 mp
8-107 mp
11-146 mp
15-185 mp
19-234 mp
24-273 mp
28-332 mp
34-391 mp
40+0 mp

Influence Emotion (Int)

As a standard action you may attempt to influence a target's emotions making them easier to sway. When you use this ability choose Diplomacy, Bluff, Intimidate, or Gather Information and creatures using those skills against the target gain a (typed?) bonus on them for 1 minute. You may choose to grant a smaller bonus (i.e. use a worse result) for reduced cost. At the DM's discretion this ability may be used to improve other Charisma based checks. This is a mind-affecting effect. The range of this ability is 30-ft, but you may use it as a swift action against any creature you have sent a telepathic message to this round with the TeleComm skill, or out to the range of any telepathy you possess.

6 or less+01 mp
7-10+11 mp
11-14+22 mp
15-18+32 mp
19-22+43 mp
23-26+53 mp
27-30+64 mp
31-34+74 mp
35-38+85 mp
39-42+95 mp
43-46+106 mp
47-50+116 mp
51-54+127 mp
55-58+137 mp
59-62+148 mp
63-66+158 mp
67-70+169 mp

Euphoria: You can instead cause a creature to enter a euphoric state. In this case it is a mind-affecting Compulsion which fascinates the target for as long as you spend a move or swift action and 1 prp each round to maintain it. The DC of the Will save to resist this effect, and cost of the initial effect, is based upon your check result, and the target gains a bonus to their check equal to the damage they have taken in the last 3 rounds. You may choose to take a lower result. You may attempt to use this ability on multiple creatures but doing so gives you a -2 to the check for each creature past the first and increases the cost by 1 (and 1 each round it is maintained). The range of this ability is 30-ft or telepathic communication.

9 or lessAuto-pass3 mp
10-14124 mp
15-19154 mp
20-24185 mp
25-29205 mp
30-34236 mp
35-39276 mp
40-46327 mp
47-54368 mp
55+4010 mp

Craft Hallucination (Int):

Prerequisite: Influence Emotion (may not have more ranks of Craft Hallucination than Influence Emotion).

You can attempt to plant false sensations into a creature's mind, crafting hallucinations within their mind. This is a mind-affecting effect. The range of this ability is 30-ft, or Telepathic Communication.

Using this ability costs 2 prp on a failure (including any time they succeed on their initial save) and 4 prp on a success; you may reduce your check result by 2 steps to reduce the successful prp cost to 2. This hallucination is limited to one sense, plus one per step you reduce the check by. You may maintain the illusion by spending a swift action each round (add tag to this and euphoria which indicates you can't maintain more than one such power at a time) or standard action if you wish to modify the illusion (such as making anything in it move in anything but a repeated pattern) but the target is allowed another save each round. Every minute you maintain this ability you must make another check to determine the DC and pay the cost again.

You may choose to take a lower result. You may attempt to use this ability on multiple creatures but doing so gives you a -2 to the check for each creature past the first and increases the cost by 1

9 or lessAuto-pass

WiP: I feel like this ought to be able to do something to through off their sense of balance and potentially even just make their body feel wrong, but I haven't gotten around to making the mechanics for that yet.


Prerequisite: Influence Emotion (may not have more ranks of Mesmerism than Influence Emotion).

Plant Suggestion (a.k.a. The Jedi Mind Trick): You can attempt to plant a suggestion in a creature's mind. You must be able to make the suggestion known to the target, and it has a range of your voice (in which case it is language dependent) or Telepathic Communication. The suggestion must be made in such a way to sound reasonable, even though the target will forget you made it on a failed save. The target must make a Will save or act upon the suggestion. If the suggestion is against the target's nature they gain a +2 on their saving throw, and anything obviously harmful to themselves automatically fails. The target is allowed a new save against this suggestion every minute, if they would fail on a 15 they instead only get a save every 10 minutes, if they would fail on a 20 (without nat 20 auto success) they are only allowed 1 save each day. Remove Curse, Break Enchantment, or Greater Dispel Magic automatically ends this effect. This is a mind-affecting compulsion.

The DC to resist this effect, and cost of the initial effect, is based upon your check result. You may choose to take a lower result. You may attempt to use this ability on multiple creatures but doing so gives you a -4 to the check for each creature past the first and increases the cost by 2.

A creature which is fascinated suffers a -4 penalty to its save against this effect.

9 or lessAuto-pass3 mp
10-14124 mp
15-19154 mp
20-24185 mp
25-29205 mp
30-34236 mp
35-39276 mp
40-46327 mp
47-54368 mp
55+4010 mp

Induce Trance: By spending 3 full rounds working with a willing creature other than yourself and 1 prp you can put a target into a meditative trance. This functions as if the target had used the meditation skill except uses your Mesmerism devotion roll in place of the skill check; you cannot use this to perform a Quick Meditation.

Enrapture: This functions like the Euphoria option of Influence Emotions except the target(s) do not gain a bonus based upon the damage they have taken and you only need to spend an action and prp to maintain the effect once per minute.

Psyche Surgery (Wis)

You may use this Devotion to cure insanity, heal mental ability damage, restore psionic reserve points, psionic power points, and re-memorize spells. All abilities willing only.

Cure Insanity: Full round action (30-ft range, or telepathy/telecomm), immediately end any confusion effect affecting the target. DC 20. Costs 1 prp on a failure, and 3 prp on a success.

Restore Psyche: Full round action (30-ft range or telepathy/telecomm), heal mental ability damage based on check. Costs 2 prp on a failure 4 prp on a success.

12 or lessFailure
13-161d4 one score
17-201d6 one score or 1d3 all
21-262d6 one score or 1d6 all
27-323d6 one score or 2d4 all
33-37All one score or 2d10 all
38+All to all scores

Restore Mental Power: Requires 1 minute. Can only be done 1/day to any given creature.

It costs 3 prp to use success or fail, and restores 1 prp or PP per 4 points you score on your result.

Alter Memorized Spell: Requires 1 minute.

It costs 1 prp to use on a failure or aborted attempt, plus 1 prp per spell level of the altered spell, and allows the target to change one spell they have prepared and memorized to another of the same level; this only works on spellcasters which prepare spells via memorization (such as Wizards and Archivists) and not spontaneous spellcasters or those which have their prepared spells granted to them (such as clerics).

Check DCSpell level altered

Probe Thoughts:

Prerequisite: TeleComm (may not have more ranks of Probe Thoughts than TeleComm).

You may probe the thoughts of other creatures which you are in physical or mental contact with. To do so requires a Standard action or a Swift action if used in conjunction with TeleComm's Scan Thoughts. When you use this ability you probe into the target creature's thoughts gaining knowledge of either their strongest memory related to a certain subject, or their honest answer to a specific question. The target is allowed a save against this effect, and the DC as well as number of questions you can make with one action are determined by your check result. It costs 4 prp per use.

6 or less81

New Skill: Meditation

Meditation (Wis, Trained only SKILL)

You may use Meditation in place of Concentration to obtain Psionic Focus and for fullfilling rerequisites for Psionic Feats.

Standard use: You may meditate for 1 hour to regain PRPs as shown on the table below. This dedicated meditation does not count as rest for other purposes. You need to make only one check to meditate using the result until you choose to stop or make another check (no more than 1 check/hour).

Check ResultPRPs restored/hour
5-151/8th (12.5%)
16-201/4th (25%)
21-281/3rd (33%)
29-401/2 (50%)
41+Total (100%)

Healing Trance: In addition you may attempt to meditate for 8 hours to enter a healing trance. In this case regardless of check result you recover as if with a day of natural healing (non complete bedrest) and if you succeed at a DC 15 Meditation check you recover at twice the normal rate (2 hp/level and 2 ability score points or 4 if you also rest 8 hours); you cannot also gain complete bed rest if you do this (in effect it grants you complete bed rest with only 16 hours of rest instead of 24) but may benefit from long-term care (for a total of 6 hp/level and 6 ability score with 8 hours of rest). You may incorporate a healing trance into standard meditation but suffer a -5 to the check and must succeed at a DC 15 or lose all benefits from both.

Quick Meditation: As a swift action you may attempt to focus your psionic reserves, gaining temporary psionic reserve points which last until the start of your next turn, you gain 1 temporary reserve point if your check exceeds 20, and an additional 1 per 4 points above 21 it was. You may not attempt Quick Meditation more than 1/day per 2 skill ranks you possess in Meditation.

2015-07-09, 01:26 PM
Class Based Method for Devotions: Proto-Psionicist

No fluff for the demo class.

No table for it either.


HD type: d8.

BAB: Cleric.

Good Saves: Will.

Poor Saves: Fort and Ref.

Class Skill List: The proto-psionicistís class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Autohypnosis (Wis), Climb (Str), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Jump (Str), Knowledge (any, each skill taken individually) (Int), Meditation (Wis), Profession (Wis), Psicraft (Int), Ride (Dex), Search (Int), Swim (Str), and Use Psionic Device (Cha).

Skill points per Level: 4 + Int.

Devotion points per Level: 6.

Weapon and Armor Proficiencies: Simple weapons and Light and Medium Armor and Shields.

Feat Based Method:

Psionic Devotee:
You gain access to Devotions.
Prerequisites: Int, Wis, or Cha 13+.
Benefit: You gain a Psionic Reserve Pool. You may spend skill points as devotion points, but may spend no more than 6 skill points plus 2 skill points/level in a class which does not grant devotion points in this manner.

2015-07-09, 04:55 PM
I think Kellus' truenaming did this very well, if I remember right.

2015-07-10, 02:26 PM
You might also want to check Green Ronin's psychic class (which can be found both in the Advanced Player's Manual and the Psychic's Handbook). It is, simply put, the spiritual successful of AD&D psionics; when you had to roll a d20 for a power to function at all, each power was keyed off a different ability score, and there was this damn 5% chance that something terribad happened every time you used a power, but when you succeeded you could, even at first level, do something that 9th-level spells couldn't achieve (in theory, at least).

Basically, there are a list of psychic skills with different mechanics for each of them, but they are trained only and you cannot have any ranks at all in a skill if you don't take the feat that allows that skill. Some feats allow you to take many skills (ie. powers), but the most powerful skills (read : an almost direct porting of AD&D psychic surgery, even better than 3.5's one) require their own feat. You also have a mana pool, and the cost of each skill depends on the DC of the check (which must be determined beforehand), so even if you have a crazy skill modifier you have to pay the prize for it (there are even options on how to convert the mana mechanism to hit points lost, ability score loss, etc.).

The psychic class, of course, gets all psychic skills as class skills and gains a bonus psychic feat (to gain access to new psychic skills) even even level. All in all, thiswas really well done.

There's also Mongoose's chaos mage, although it relies on a level check instead of a skill check. The mechanic is probably broken (there is no level of ability, so a 1st-level chaos mage rolling a 20 could theoretically do what a 19th-level chaos mage rolling a 2 could do, and IIRC a natural 1 is an automatic failure), and failing even a single check is character-draining (you have only 10 chances, and when you take the last one, you are perma-killed in one of the most horrible ways imaginable), but the ability to invent new spells on the fly with epic magic-like seeds is probably worth taking a look.