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dsollen
2015-06-23, 09:24 AM
This is the first try at what I would like to make a reoccurring segment. I thought it would be interesting to propose a general class concept and see if others come come up with a viable character class to fit that concept, just to challenge our homebrewing skills. If this first challenge works out well I may propose other challenges in the future.

In general the challenge is to come up with a new, interesting, fun to play, and balanced character class that meets the stated character concept (in this case a psionic healer). To make this fun I suggest a sort of ranking system. Each person can post a class to meet the concept. Those reading the thread are then welcome, and encouraged to rank the class to see how it fits each of the categories. Constructive and positive criticism welcome. The challenge is to create the class that is most highly ranked. I don't think I'm going to try to specify a 'winner' of a thread, too subjective, but if others want to keep a running list of their personal ranking/favorites when reviewing classes feel free to do so.

For class building we are looking at 3.5 or pathfinder classes. I feel the two are similar enough that both can be included in the same challenge; but specify rather your using 3.5 or pathfinder rules when describing a class. If not specified were presume 3.5

The main categories for ranking a class are below, you can skip this if you wish to get to the main challenge:

Balance: unless otherwise stated assume classes are shooting for somewhere around tier 3-1, probably tier 2 or 1. However, broken classes that are over powered lead to power creep which ultimately makes things like warriors feel even worse. Therefore I consider overly powerful classes to be far worse then under powered classes (some may simply prefer to play a lower tier party sometimes). Thus any class noticeably stronger then semi-optimized CODzilla in a fight should be balanced carefully; and any class that can easily blow fully optimized CODzilla out of the water should get low balance ranking. In addition if someone specifies they are shooting for a general character tier or strength they should be ranked relative to their target tier; there is nothing wrong with trying for tier 3 for instance. Classes which are capable of doing 'everything' without any weak point or need of other party members should be avoided. Also, if a class power noticeably scales oddly with level, being drastically more powerful at certain levels then others, this should be considered a potential flaw as well.

Fun: how fun will a class be to play. Does it have cool abilities and an awesome feel that makes you *want* to play that class? Can it's mechanics work in game play without slowing down the game? Will this class work well in a larger character party, fitting a good niche or synergizing well with others. In fact anyone that qualifies as a 'warrior helper' (below) should potentially get a small + here.

Presentation and concept: How well was the class presented and described. Were the mechanics easy to understand and laid out well. Did they include flavor and if so how well does the flavor work? Does it have a clear and interesting concept and story? A poster may describe additional design goals of their class, for instance someone doing my "psionic healer" challenge may say they hate save-or-die spells and one of their design goals was to make their healer able to remove or limit such spells. If so they should be ranked on how well they met these additional design challenges. Finally, how does the class fit the overall character concept of the original challenge.

Warrior helper: Not sure if this should be a full rating, but I think it's a nice thing to watch. Some people like warrior, rouges, and barbarians, but can't play them with a CODzilla without risking being side lined. Thus any class which is designed to synergize well with lower tier classes and/or avoid outshining them while still being a strong class in it's own right I consider worthy of recognition; as they allow other party members to enjoy their favorite classes while grouping with you. If a class idea is written in such a way that it would support lower tier characters and/or encourage or allow a more diverse selection of characters to be played together call it out by awarding it with the "warrior helper" mark :).

Okay...now on to the first challenge:

_____________________________

Healers have traditionally been seen as both low tier and unfun healbots. The Healer class is one of the lowest tier classes in the game, and while Clerics are top tier it's only due to their non-healing power, it's commonly agreed a cleric played as a healbot is poorly optimized. However, some prefer to play supporting roles, and some like the idea of healing the weak and downtrodden. Thus my first challenge is to create a healer that is actually fun to play and viable.

However, just saying 'viable healer' seems too open ended for a challenge. Thus I want to make this specifically focused on psionic healers. psionic versions of most other archetypes exist, but I'm not aware of psionic healing class, and I think their unique mechanic may lend itself well to a healer. One of the limits of healers has always been that traditional healing spells don't scale well with incoming damage in late game, making heals a poor use of turns; but psionic are not limited by spell scaling at all. Making heals fit into the turn economy is easier when psionic can 'nova' a heal to be as strong as needed; paying with PP instead of spell slots.

To clarify I define 'healer' as supporting and life saving role, they do not need to be limited purely to healing damage, in fact if that is all a psionic healer did they would risk being boring. Damage mitigation and shields are a great option for a healer, as are curing of CC and buffing. Mitigating 'save or die' spells, or boosting saves in general, is another great area to consider addressing. A healer is allowed to get some offensive abilities, but they should be clearly focused on in-battle support, if the optimal use of the healer is doing damage instead of support they have not met this challenge. They must 'feel' like a defensive support and life savor primarily, even if someone chooses to give them a viable secondary role of damage dealer (or tank).

Ideally a healer will be able to work both in a single all-out encounter that uses a parties entire resources to win and in many weak encounters across a day. A healer should always have something interesting to do each turn, not just healing incoming damage. If a party is clearly winning an encounter a healer should get *something* interesting to do even though no healing is really needed at the moment.

SharkForce
2015-06-23, 09:57 AM
....

is the objective purely to homebrew stuff, or is the objective to produce a psionic healer that meets the criteria?

because if it is the latter, i can't help but feel you may not be familiar with dreamscarred press.

just in case:

http://www.d20pfsrd.com/psionics-unleashed/classes/vitalist

there's a 3.5 similar option, but the vitalist is probably the best version of this concept that i am aware of.

Deepbluediver
2015-06-23, 02:28 PM
My gut-reaction is that it's really hard to get high-tier healing classes because the main focus of most encounters is killing stuff, and most of the things that make a class tier 1 or 2 revolve around ending encounters practically before they begin.

Most of the homebrew fixes I've seen for the 3.5 Healer class purport to improve it's power by bolting on everything except healing. That's because the time (actions per round) you spend getting someone's HP back up could almost always be better spent preventing more damage from occurring in the first place, which usually means going offensive. I could make the Wizard a tier-1 healer just by giving him access to the Cure Wounds spells. Kind of like the archivist.

Most of the other stuff you mentioned- shielding spells or abilities, buffs, clearing status effects, etc, already exists in one form or another.

It's not an entirely unfeasible concept, I just think you should set your sights a little lower.

Zaydos
2015-06-23, 04:05 PM
I might try and work something up, but I think you should probably aim for a lower tier than 1-2, if for no other reason than that the bolded portion is part of the definition of tier 1s and to a lesser extent tier 2 classes.


Balance: unless otherwise stated assume classes are shooting for somewhere around tier 3-1, probably tier 2 or 1. However, broken classes that are over powered lead to power creep which ultimately makes things like warriors feel even worse. Therefore I consider overly powerful classes to be far worse then under powered classes (some may simply prefer to play a lower tier party sometimes). Thus any class noticeably stronger then semi-optimized CODzilla in a fight should be balanced carefully; and any class that can easily blow fully optimized CODzilla out of the water should get low balance ranking. In addition if someone specifies they are shooting for a general character tier or strength they should be ranked relative to their target tier; there is nothing wrong with trying for tier 3 for instance. Classes which are capable of doing 'everything' without any weak point or need of other party members should be avoided. Also, if a class power noticeably scales oddly with level, being drastically more powerful at certain levels then others, this should be considered a potential flaw as well.

Deepbluediver
2015-06-23, 04:21 PM
OP seems to be getting a lot of criticism and I want to be clear- the idea is interesting to me, I just think that if balance is your ultimate goal, then you won't get there by pushing the Healer up; you've got to bring the Tier 1s and 2s down. The ability to regen HP and clear status debuffs is crucial to most parties, it's just that doing it in-combat is almost always a poor tactical decision. Buying mass-produced wands of cure-light-wounds or healing potions can fill 80% of the role.

That being said, if you were willing to define "healing" as including defensive disables, maybe thinking about anti-traditional-caster abilities or class features could be a starting point, so long as the class is able to share those abilities with the party.


I might try and work something up....
My initial thought was that the simplest thing to do would to be just take the Psion chassis and stick as many of the "supporting" powers on it's powers-list as possible. Since I'm not an expert on Psionics, that's where I'd start.
As I thought about it more though, I realized that without the need to link healing to Positive Energy like you do for most of the standard D&D stuff, you can increase the versatility somewhat for "healing" things like constructs and undead. There's already the Repair Damage (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/psionic/powers/psionicRepairDamage.htm) power, maybe you could build on that. Fluff it as re-aligning things to their proper formation (aka turning back entropy) and you might be able to come up with a healer/buffer that's more suitable for a non-standard mixed-type party.

dsollen
2015-06-23, 05:30 PM
I'm getting legitimate criticism about my definition of tier, I should have put more into describing what I meant. In general I'm looking for classes that are powerful in combat and viable out of combat, which would be tier 2 or 3. However, in combat they must be able to keep up with high level combatants.

In terms of healing being impossible, I disagree. The argument that healing can't keep up with damage doesn't apply when you homebrew a class where you define how much they heal, without even being restricted to using traditional healing spells. The classes healing output is as high as you choose to make it, or higher. As an absurd case you could make a class that heals 50D12 damage to all party members within reach at level one as a free action. Obviously that's absurdly broken, but at the same time such a class would surly be more then capable of keeping up with incoming damage wouldn't they? If you define the class from scratch you can craft their mechanics to address the turn economy whoever is needed to make it work, the challenge is doing it in an interesting way that is strong enough without being too strong.

some examples of tricks that could be used, not saying that any or all of them should be used:

1) Let them act outside of their normal turn order:
a) give 'heals of opportunity', allowing them to instantly expand pp to do some partial heal to anyone who takes damage around them (probably less efficiently or for less total healing then on-turn heals)
b) allow them to expend their psionic focus to intervene during the middle of a turn, to cast heals or boost an ally
c) Let them form a psionic bond with a given ally each turn, during that turn if their bonded ally is attacked they can spend PP to assist the attacked ally (boost resistance, heal, increase AC etc etc). They can switch who their bonded with each turn as a swift action
d) Simply allow expending more PP to use an ability earlier then your usual turn order, sacrificing your later turn, to intervene when needed

2) Allow them to spend PP to boost any save an ally will make (before or after their roll), to allow protecting against insta-death spells. Or allow increasing spell (and psionic) resistance of allies

3) A heavy emphasis on shields to mitigate damage instead of healing it. Maybe their challenge is selecting exactly which type of shield, and how much power, to invest PP on, but a properly selected shield can completely mitigate at least one and potentially multiple attacks made against an ally (and shields do not need to be limited to direct incoming damage, spell shields, ability damage shields, etc can exist as well.

4) include a wide range of abilities to 'lock down' offensive magic and abilities. Give them antimagic zone and silence. In fact give them an ability to create an 'anti magic zone' that mitigates all magic *except* healing magic (or perhaps all but 'positive energy' magic). That could be a cool ability to be able to do once per day in mid levels, even if it only worked for a round or two.

5) Include a wide range of AOE style abilities, that allow supporting the whole team at once. It's okay if a heal doesn't quite heal one party member of all the damage he takes, if all 8 members reaped the advantage.

6) Give them ways to damage the enemy while healing their allies at the same time. Drain strength from your enemy and feed it to an ally. The damage and heal may both be a little lower then optimal, but doing both at once can still add up to being quite viable use of turns.

7) flat out allow them to heal an absurdly high amount of damage, or provide absurdly high defense against the other high level non-damage game breaker spells, if their willing to expand a game breaking amount of PP.

Generally my recommendation would be try to build a healer that focused on the healing equivalent of Novaing. They can burn through PP absurdly fast to protect their party from nearly everything for a few rounds, but if they do so their run dry fast. The challenge of the healer is to decide how much to spend on defending their party early.

To add strategy I would try for mechanics that reward a healer for judging exactly how much of a beatdown the party is about to take, punishing healers for both being overly defensive (by wasting PP) and for not being defensive enough (by making it much harder to come back to help the party if you fail to mitigate the original nasty abilities).

Zaydos
2015-06-23, 05:41 PM
My initial thought was that the simplest thing to do would to be just take the Psion chassis and stick as many of the "supporting" powers on it's powers-list as possible. Since I'm not an expert on Psionics, that's where I'd start.
As I thought about it more though, I realized that without the need to link healing to Positive Energy like you do for most of the standard D&D stuff, you can increase the versatility somewhat for "healing" things like constructs and undead. There's already the Repair Damage (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/psionic/powers/psionicRepairDamage.htm) power, maybe you could build on that. Fluff it as re-aligning things to their proper formation (aka turning back entropy) and you might be able to come up with a healer/buffer that's more suitable for a non-standard mixed-type party.

My first thought was something more along the lines of Close Wounds (i.e. Immediate action healing) and AoE healing, and the old Psionic Defense Modes notable Intellect Fortress/Tower of Iron Will. Also since an anime I watched recently has left me desiring it, the power to mend damage on a genetic scale and heal aging. So my approach is probably going to focus more on healing the living, but include some mending constructs/undead, and probably some amount of Fabricate/Stone Shape.

As for dsollen's tricks the ones I was considering were 1 a/b/c (though probably just going with Immediate action over opportunity), 3 in the form of emphasis of the Vigor power and ability to use it on others (i.e. Temp HP as a shield) and said Psionic Defense Modes, 5 (AoE healing is important), and probably some tricks and traits of my own whether abilities geared for the gamist in us (ability to create a healing construct for more action economy fun, possibly ability to temporarily reduce max HP for effects), or simulationist (I heal aging, ability to increase a creature's ability scores via psionic manipulation of it before it's born).

Also I might should read the vitalist eventually.

Deepbluediver
2015-06-23, 05:56 PM
However, in combat they must be able to keep up with high level combatants.
I think you still need more detail on what you mean by this. Combat at high levels on a tier 1 and 2 scale makes HP damage virtually meaningless, which is what most people are going to think of when they hear "healer". Maybe it would be better if you titled your thread something like "Psionic Support".

Also, a lot of people hear "healer" and think "caster", whereas something like a psionic paladin that had his own survivability but could also draw damage from his teammates might work best.


In terms of healing being impossible, I disagree. The argument that healing can't keep up with damage doesn't apply when you homebrew a class where you define how much they heal, without even being restricted to using traditional healing spells. The classes healing output is as high as you choose to make it, or higher. As an absurd case you could make a class that heals 50D12 damage to all party members within reach at level one as a free action. Obviously that's absurdly broken, but at the same time such a class would surly be more then capable of keeping up with incoming damage wouldn't they? If you define the class from scratch you can craft their mechanics to address the turn economy whoever is needed to make it work, the challenge is doing it in an interesting way that is strong enough without being too strong.
That's not really the point- on a purely mathmatical basis, in-combat healing doesn't work for most encounters.
Imagine a party of 5 adventurers that are fighting an enemy that will take them 4 rounds to kill. The same enemy with only 4 opponents would take 5 rounds to kill. Each round the enemy is alive he will deal damage to your party (either single target or multiple targets). If you fight him with 5 players, then in order to heal you will need to spend resources equivalent to heal 4 rounds of damage. If you fight him with only 4 players, then in order to heal you need to spend resources equivalent to 5 rounds of damage. Out-of-combat healing is almost always more efficient in the long run, barring a few very specific situations, such as if someone is going to die before combat ends, and by healing you keep them alive. Even then it's more about the resources for reviving someone being less than the resources spent on healing, and with the right allocation and build-choices it's still a toss-up.


Something like healing is necessary in a computerized RPG because the design of combat is inherently different and people WOULD die early and often if not healed, thanks to massive damage and concepts like aggro. Tabletop RPGs are on some levels less complex and less frantic, and other tactics besides soaking damage and then restoring the HP that's lost are frequently superior.


some examples of tricks that could be used, not saying that any or all of them should be used:
*snip*
Yeah, most of the stuff you mention here already exists AFAIK, and isn't exclusive to characters like healers. Unless it's very narrowly defined, the healer buffing/helping himself and then solving the problem on his own is going to be the superior tactical choice to buffing/helping someone else and letting them solve the problem.
Anything prediction-related feels like it's either going to be Russian roulette or favoring a heavy incorporation of Divination (sorry, Clairsentience). Almost everything you've suggested feels like just about everything EXCEPT healing.

Deepbluediver
2015-06-23, 06:22 PM
Also since an anime I watched recently has left me desiring it, the power to mend damage on a genetic scale and heal aging. So my approach is probably going to focus more on healing the living, but include some mending constructs/undead, and probably some amount of Fabricate/Stone Shape.
Timeless Body (or preferably something like it but better) definitely feels like a natural fit for a healing-class.

Regarding your other point though- I've sometimes pondered why positive energy is such a panacea for anything and everything. There are powerful Outsiders of both the good and evil varieties who are (AFAIK) healed by positive energy, despite not needing to eat, sleep, or even breathe. And then you've got things like Elementals that are made of fire or stone and they get healed by it as well. The only thing Positive energy doesn't work on is Undead, and then Negative energy is the go-to bandaid cure.
I guess I was envisioning a world where cleric-healers worked best for humanoids and only humanoids, and the psionic version might fill in the niche for everything else. Except in standard 3.5 and PF, that niche doesn't really exist. Just one more reason why healing-focused builds are so often seen as sub-par I think.

Zaydos
2015-06-23, 06:29 PM
Timeless Body (or preferably something like it but better) definitely feels like a natural fit for a healing-class.

Regarding your other point though- I've sometimes pondered why positive energy is such a panacea for anything and everything. There are powerful Outsiders of both the good and evil varieties who are (AFAIK) healed by positive energy, despite not needing to eat, sleep, or even breathe. And then you've got things like Elementals that are made of fire or stone and they get healed by it as well. The only thing Positive energy doesn't work on is Undead, and then Negative energy is the go-to bandaid cure.
I guess I was envisioning a world where cleric-healers worked best for humanoids and only humanoids, and the psionic version might fill in the niche for everything else. Except in standard 3.5 and PF, that niche doesn't really exist. Just one more reason why healing-focused builds are so often seen as sub-par I think.

At the very least you'd get Timeless Body and Slowed Aging of some sort, with the ability to make other creatures age at a slowed rate by acting as their (psionic) personal physician (either put a strict limit or go with it costing you PP). And the ability to make human children be born as elan, because elan grow out of old sci-fi tropes.

The given reason is that Positive Energy is LIFE itself. Doesn't matter if it's a demon or a human if it is alive positive energy can mend it. This might actually end up more niche as you'd be psionically mending life and life is pretty complex.

Either way it'd be nice to see a few different classes come out of this.

SkipSandwich
2015-06-23, 06:52 PM
A vanilla psion can actually play a pretty good healer on his own with nothing more then share pain, vigor and body adjustment. Manifest share pain to transfer an ally's wounds to yourself, use vigor to grant yourself buffer hp with which to absorb that damage and use body adjustment to heal spillover damage. The rest of the time you are free to blast and debuff as normal.

this makes me think a PrC may be the best way to do this. I'm thinking requriments being able to manifest Mindlink and Empathic transfer (so egoist or telepath with expanded knowlege) and class features that let you use personal or touch range powers on creatures you are Mindlinked to, with higher levels letting your affect multiple mindlinked allies per casting.

SharkForce
2015-06-23, 07:53 PM
seriously, you should all take a look at the vitalist i linked earlier before declaring this impossible. the vitalist is probably not a tier 1-2 class (DSP deliberately designs to avoid that and typically aims for ~3), but that's easy enough to do... just expand the power list a bunch and allow more powers known per day, and there you have it: instant tier 1-2 healer. though i'm not sure why you'd want to aim for tier 1.

Deepbluediver
2015-06-23, 08:34 PM
seriously, you should all take a look at the vitalist i linked earlier before declaring this impossible. the vitalist is probably not a tier 1-2 class (DSP deliberately designs to avoid that and typically aims for ~3), but that's easy enough to do... just expand the power list a bunch and allow more powers known per day, and there you have it: instant tier 1-2 healer. though i'm not sure why you'd want to aim for tier 1.
I don't think anyone ever said this was impossible- but a tier 1 class that can heal and a tier 1 HEALER are different things in my book. The very act (tactic, if you will) of healing is not a tier-1 action.

A wizard isn't a tier 1 because he can buff himself up and nuke a dragon to death with acid. He's tier 1 because he can scout the dragon's location from the safety of his tower, then teleport a book with 400 copies of explosive runes written on it into the dragons' stomach.

SharkForce
2015-06-23, 09:14 PM
I don't think anyone ever said this was impossible- but a tier 1 class that can heal and a tier 1 HEALER are different things in my book. The very act (tactic, if you will) of healing is not a tier-1 action.

A wizard isn't a tier 1 because he can buff himself up and nuke a dragon to death with acid. He's tier 1 because he can scout the dragon's location from the safety of his tower, then teleport a book with 400 copies of explosive runes written on it into the dragons' stomach.

conveniently, much of the vitalist healing comes with limited action costs, or as part of your offense. depending on archetype, you might even be taking nasty status effects off of your party and putting them right back on to the enemy.

the few times you need to use your action on healing, the healing can be made very impactful.

give them more powers known and a bigger power list, and they could easily be a tier 1 class because they have low or zero-cost ways to heal without giving up their important actions.

seriously, take a look.

even if you did that, they would still be very much a healer.

dsollen
2015-06-26, 11:26 AM
I agree the vitalist pretty much does what I was suggesting, but I was less interested in finding a class that did this, and more interested in seeing what interesting ideas others could homebrew. I chose a high tier healer for this challenge because it is hard. I had some general ideas for ways it could be done, but it takes effort to implement them well and make it balanced, and I wanted to see if others could do that with something traditionally considered hard to make happen.

I think doing damage (or buffs/debuffs) while healing, healing with free/swift actions, damage mitigation abilities, and abilities that only work in battle are all good options for making a high tier healer. It can be done, but I was hoping to see what tricks homebrewers could come up with.

I had some other challenge ideas, but they were all intentionally difficult things, real challenges. I may not bother posting them, since I haven't gotten much interest with this challenge.

Ancalidormis
2015-06-26, 12:03 PM
Vitalist Note: Please be careful of the Life Leech archetype and the feat Unwilling Participant. Poor wording and a strange mechanic allows it to do some insanely broken things.

Zaydos
2015-06-26, 12:48 PM
I'll note that I'm still working on something hopefully mid tier 3 to maybe mid tier 2. Currently thinking of giving it powers with 2 new descriptors (Invigorating and Recuperative). Recuperative indicates that something only heals creatures capable of natural healing by stimulating their own natural healing, probably going to have relatively high hp to PP ratio (better than Vigor's 5 temp hp to 1 PP) but convert damage to nonlethal instead of simply healing it, but some will be more traditional healing. Invigorating is more offensive and will be exclusively on Psychokinesis powers which will create a surge of Positive Energy (hurting undead, healing living creatures) which can sort of over heal a creature (temp hp) potentially causing it to explode (temp hp > some fraction of max hp = Fort or die). The class will probably end up with three archetypes based on: Psychometabolism, which will get the ability to use personal only psychometabolism powers such as Expansion and Metamorphosis at a range as a special augmentation (thinking +2 PP for willing creatures, +4 PP and Fort negates for unwilling creatures), and a certain amount of free healing tacked on with each psychometabolism power; psychokinesis will get blasting + Invigorating effects, and the ability to Turn Undead; finally telepathy which will get aura based buffing, mental ability healing, and umm... need to think of more for this or maybe scrap it and replace it with something else.

Network
2015-06-29, 12:09 AM
Hopefully this should help a bit. I'll continue to work on the class (possibly making new psionic powers for it, or adding equivalent class features) tomorrow. I plan to give it the equivalent of the Touch of Healing feat (from Complete Champion) at level 5 or 6, but adapted for psionics, plus a couple other nice things (if possible, something that tiers 1 can't get).

Psychic Life Beacon

Come to me, friends, so that my banner provides shelter to your lost souls.

Psychic life beacons take advantage of the innate mental abilities of other creatures to project waves of psionic energy that any creature, living or not, can innately use to restore their body to its optimal state. Having refined their own mind for this special purpose, they remain capable of doing other actions while providing healing to their allies, only directing a fraction of their psionic potential to create the waves of life-giving energy they are known for.

All living creatures (and some unliving creatures) have a mind, but some of them are more receptive to a psychic life beacon's psychic healing waves than others. As she gains levels, she becomes more and more capable to affect creatures with a more primitive mind, and develops the ability to use this power for damaging purpose.

Adventures: A psychic life beacon is more at ease on large-scale battlefields, where she can hope to heal large numbers of allies, than in an adventuring group. A spellcasting healer would be more qualified for this purpose, anyway. But sometimes, a smaller group will need a healer than can stay away from the action, in which case the psychic life beacon suddenly seems more qualified for the task.

Characteristics: A psychic life beacon's purpose is to become the team's catalyst. Through teamwork, an army supported by a psychic life beacon can be deadly even to an otherwise vastly superior force.

Alignment: A psychic life beacon is more often lawful than chaotic, partly because harnessing psionic powers require a great deal of discipline that is difficult to come by for a chaotic mind, and partly because it is generally easier to attract like-minded allies (which will enhance the character's healing potential) by being true to one's word. However, psychic life beacons, especially renegade ones that are not part of a military organization, may be of any alignment.

Religion: Psychic life beacons rarely find themselves concerned with religion unless their military unit promotes a particular faith, in which case they will likely adopt it for themselves. Some also turn themselves towards gods of hospitality or healing.

Background: How does someone develop her psionic powers? Put simply, this requires either practice or innate psionic potential. The ones who practice for it are more easily manageable in a military setting, and so have better resources available to them from the start. But from time to time, an innately psionic character will take enough levels in the class to attract the attention of military officers of their race, who will either (depending on the renegade character's attitude towards conscription and the officer's mood at the time) strongly encourage her to join the army or just put her out of her misery. Because what good is an innate talent for war if you don't use it, right?

Races: Warlike races with an affinity for psionic powers are the more likely to train psychic life beacons. This includes, obviously, githyankis, for which battlefield healing is all the more important because the astral plane does not allow natural healing to occur. Other races that take this class often include elans, elves (especially in times of war) and sahuagin. A old joke also claims that there are more force dragon psychic life beacons than human ones but, perhaps unsurprisingly, it is probably not true, as only thirty force dragons psychic life beacons have made themselves known in the last ten years. Of course, Julia Aurora, who was thought to be the first human epic psychic life beacon, was revealed to be a great wyrm force dragon only a year ago, so that may be where the joke comes from.

Other Classes: Few divine spellcasters would willingly work with a psychic life beacon, because that character's ability to heal a target from away (as opposed to healing him by touch) obviously puts the spellcaster's divine magic (and thus, its divine sponsor) to shame. Arcane spellcasters will react to a psychic life beacon with arrogace; their magic is so much better than meager psionic healing, right? RIGHT? All in all, only martial characters (except initiator characters, because they think they are too badass to need an healer anyway), meldshapers (who don't mind being called healers put really do prefer to use their soulmelds to get natural weapons) and psionic characters (because they gotta get along, after all, especially when something as simple as Psychic Surgery can provide a psionic character some much needed versatility) will treat the psychic life beacon fairly.

Role: In game terms, the psychic life beacon is the opposite of a blaster; she stays away from the main action while providing as much hit points healing as she can afford. She could also have a secondary role as a gish, buffer, debuffer or, to a limited extend, as an actual blaster.

Adaptation: Who needs to adapt the psychic life beacon, anyway? It is already perfect as it is, and you know it! Unless you are one of those damn wizards, probably from some coastline out there, or a cleric or druid who thinks he looks like a radioactive dinosaur.

GAME RULE INFORMATION
Psychic life beacons have the following game statistics.
Abilities: Wisdom is a must for any good psychic life beacon. Constitution is useful for any character, and you would take it even if it wasn't mentioned anyway. Maybe Dexterity if you are one of these crossbow caster dudes. The others? Dump them, it's better that way.
Alignment: Any
Hit Die: d6
Starting Age: As bard
Starting Gold: 3d4 x 10 gp (75 gp)

Class Skills
The psychic life beacon's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Autohypnosis (Wis), Balance (Dex), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Heal (Wis), Knowledge (psionics) (Int), Listen (Wis), Profession (Wis), Psicraft (Int), Sense Motive (Wis) and Spot (Wis).
Skill Points at First Level: (2 + Int modifier) x 4
Skill Points at Each Additional Level: 2 + Int modifier

Psychic Life Beacon

LevelBase Attack BonusFort SaveRef SaveWill SaveSpecialPsychic Healing WavePower Points/DayPowers KnownMaximum Power Level Known
1st
+0
+0
+0
+2Psychic Healing Wave (mind-affecting)1 hp/pp, 10 ft.221st
2nd
+1
+0
+0
+3Psychic Wave of Destruction1 hp/pp, 20 ft.631st
3rd
+2
+1
+1
+3Wave Token (1 token)1 hp/pp, 30 ft.1131st
4th
+3
+1
+1
+4Psychic Healing Wave (mind-affecting or psionic)1 hp/pp, 40 ft.1742nd
5th
+3
+1
+1
+4Touch of Healing, psionic1d4 hp/pp, 50 ft.2552nd
6th
+4
+2
+2
+5Remove disease 1/week1d4 hp/pp, 60 ft.3563rd
7th
+5
+2
+2
+5Damage reduction 1/, Wave Token (2 tokens)1d4 hp/pp, 70 ft.4673rd
8th
+6/+1
+2
+2
+6Psychic Healing Wave (living or psionic)1d4 hp/pp, 80 ft.5884th
9th
+6/+1
+3
+3
+6Bonus feat1d4 hp/pp, 90 ft.7294th
10th
+7/+2
+3
+3
+7Remove disease 2/week1d6 hp/pp, 100 ft.88105th
11th
+8/+3
+3
+3
+7Damage reduction 2/, Wave Token (3 tokens)1d6 hp/pp, 110 ft.106115th
12th
+9/+4
+4
+4
+8Psychic Healing Wave (intelligent, living or psionic)1d6 hp/pp, 120 ft.126126th
13th
+9/+4
+4
+4
+8Bonus feat, True Heal1d6 hp/pp, 130 ft.147136th
14th
+10/+5
+4
+4
+9Remove disease 3/week1d6 hp/pp, 140 ft.170147th
15th
+11/+6/+1
+5
+5
+9Damage reduction 3/, Wave Tokens (4 tokens)2d4 hp/pp, 150 ft.195147th
16th
+12/+7/+2
+5
+5
+10Psychic Healing Wave (any creature)2d4 hp/pp, 160 ft.221158th
17th
+12/+7/+2
+5
+5
+10Bonus feat, Wave Token (4 tokens)2d4 hp/pp, 170 ft.250158th
18th
+13/+8/+3
+6
+6
+11Remove disease 4/week2d4 hp/pp, 180 ft.280169th
19th
+14/+9/+4
+6
+6
+11Damage reduction 4/, Wave Tokens (5 tokens)2d4 hp/pp, 190 ft.311169th
20th
+15/+10/+5
+6
+6
+122d6 hp/pp, 200 ft.343179th


Class Features
All of the following are class features of the psychic life beacon.

Weapon and Armor Proficiencies: What weapons and armor with which your class is proficient!

Power Points/Day: A psychic life beacon ability to manifest powers is limited by the power points she has available. Her base daily allotment of power points is given on the class table. In addition, she receives bonus power points per day if she has a high Wisdom score. Her race may also provide bonus power points per day, as may certain feats and items.

Powers Known: A psychic life beacon begins play knowing two psychic life beacon powers of her choice. Each time she achieves a new level, she unlocks the knowledge of new powers.

Choose the powers known from the psychic life beacon power list. (Exception: The feats Expanded Knowledge and Epic Expanded Knowledge do allow a psychic life beacon to learn powers from the lists of other classes.) A psychic life beacon can manifest any power she knows that has a power point cost equal to or lower than her manifester level.

The total number of powers a psychic life beacon can manifest in a day is limited only by her daily power points.

A psychic life beacon simply knows her powers; they are ingrained in her mind. She does not need to prepare them (in the way that some spellcasters prepare their spells), though she must rest for 8 hours to regain all her spent power points.

The Difficulty Class for saving throws against psychic life beacon powers is 10 + the power's level + the psychic life beacon's Wisdom modifier.

Psychic life beacon power list:
1- Empathy, Empty Mind, Force Screen, Inertial Armor, Missive, Thicken Skin, Vigor
2- Animal Affinity, Biofeedback, Chameleon, Cloud Mind, Empathic Transfer, Recall Agony, Share Pain, Sustenance, Thought Shield
3- Body Adjustment, Body Purification, Dispel Psionics, Forced Share Pain, Hostile Empathic Transfert, Mental Barrier, Psionic Keen Edge, Touchsight
4- Correspond, Empathic Feedback, Energy Adaptation, Inertial Barrier, Intellect Fortress, Metamorphosis
5- Adapt Body, Catapsi, Power Resistance, Psionic Revivify, Psychofeedback, Restore Extremity, Tower of Iron Will
6- Aura Alteration, Dispelling Buffer, Fuse Flesh, Mass Cloud Mind, Psionic Restoration, Suspend Life
7- Evade Burst, Oak Body, Personal Mind Blank, Psionic Regenerate
8- Psionic Mind Blank, Recall Death, True Metabolism
9- Affinity Field, Assimilate, Greater Metamorphosis, Timeless Body

Regenerate, Psionic
Psychometabolism (Healing) [Descriptors]
Level: Psychic life beacon 7
Display: Material
Manifesting Time: 3 full rounds
Range: Touch
Target: Living creature touched
Duration: Instantaneous
Saving Throw: Fortitude negates (harmless)
Power Resistance: Yes (harmless)
Power Points: 13

As the Regenerate spell, except the power cures 7d6 points of damage.

Augmentation: For every 2 additional power points you spend on this power, it cures an aditional 1d6 points of damage and its save DC increases by 1.

Maximum Power Level Known: A psychic life beacon begins play with the ability to learn 1st-level powers. As she attains higher levels, she may gain the ability to master more complex powers.

To learn or manifest a power, a psychic life beacon must have a Wisdom score of at least 10 + the power's level.

Psychic Healing Wave (Su): The psychic life beacon's most defining ability is her capacity to spent power points to heal any number of creatures within a limited area. Using this ability is a swift action. The psychic life beacon must choose the form of the wave; a sphere, a cone or a line. The psychic life beacon must always spend at least 1 power point to use (or more properly create) a psychic healing wave, and cannot spend more power points to do so than her manifester level.

The psychic healing wave is an instantaneous spread effect centered on the psychic life beacon (it cannot be centered away from her). Since it is not a burst, it can turn corners. A sphere-shaped wave has a range of 10 feet per class level (the range indicated on the table). A cone-shaped wave has a range of 20 feet per class level (in other words, it has double the range on the table). A line-shaped wave has a range of 30 feet per class level (triple the range on the table). The psychic life beacon has some control over who she heals with this ability; she may exclude enemies she knows to be within the area, shape the area of the wave to exclude some angles or some ranges of distance (so that nothing less than 20 feet away receives healing, for example), or choose to exclude all creatures within the area from its effect except those she designates.

The amount of healing provided by the character's psychic healing wave depends on the amount of power points spent on it. At 1st level, each power point spent heals 1 hit point in all affected creatures. This becomes 1d4 hit points per power point at 5th level, 1d6 hit points per power point at 10th level, 2d4 hit points per power point at 15th level and 2d6 hit points per power point (the maximum) at 20th level.

At first level, creatures immune to mind-affecting effects are immune to the psychic healing wave. At fourth level, creatures with the Psionic subtype are affected by the psychic healing wave even if they would otherwise be immune. At eight level, all living creatures and all creatures with the Psionic subtype (including living creatures immune to mind-affecting effects, but not constructs, deathless and undead, with the exception of living constructs) can by affected by the character's psychic healing wave. At twelft level, all creatures except non-living mindless creatures that also lack the Psionic subtype can be affected by the psychic healing wave, which from this point on also functions on intelligent items. At sixteenth level, all creatures can be affected by it (items, with the exception of intelligent items, can never be affected by it, because they truly have no mind to speak of).

Because this ability does not make direct use of positive energy, constructs and undead creatures are healed by it in the same way as living creatures, assuming the psychic life beacon's level is high enough to affect them.

Psychic Wave of Destruction (Su): At 2nd level, the psychic life beacon learns how to use her psychic healing wave to deal damage instead of restoring lost hit points. The basic mechanism is exactly the same as a standard psychic life beacon, except it deals damage equal to one-half the amount it could have healed in hit points based on the number of power points spent (minimum 1 point of damage), and affected creatures can make a Will save (DC 10 + class level + Wisdom modifier) to reduce the damage by half yet again, for a total equal to a quarter of its normal value.

The psychic life beacon cannot simultaneously provide healing and harm her opponents with this ability until she reaches 20th level, at which point she gains the Dual Psychic Wave class feature (see below).

Wave Token: At 3rd level, the psychic life beacon may reduce the power capacity of her psychic healing wave to add additional effects to it. Power points may be exchanged for wave tokens at a 2 for 1 ratio, and she still cannot spend more power points on her psychic healing wave than her manifester level (both power points spent on healing and power points spent on wave tokens count toward this amount). The mechanism of wave tokens does not change when using a psychic wave of destruction; their cost is the same, he psychic life beacon still cannot spend more power points than her manifester level, and wave tokens may be spent in the same manner.

At 3rd level, the psychic life beacon may only buy 1 wave token every time she uses her psychic healing wave (or psychic wave of destruction). She may buy an additional wave token every four levels above 3 (2 tokens at level 7, 3 at level 11, etc.). Wave tokens must be spent immediately; they cannot be kept for later usage.

When the psychic life beacon buys tokens with power points, she may use them to achieve a variety of effect. Unless otherwise noted, the effect applies to all creatures affected by the psychic healing wave (or psychic wave of destruction). The effect lasts until the end of the psychic life beacon's next turn (thus, the psychic life beacon has enough time to grant the benefit again on the next round). Tokens may be spent to achieve any combination of the following effects:
Grant a resistance bonus to saving throws (Fortitude, Reflexes, Will). The bonus is equal to the amount of wave tokens spent on this effect.
Grant energy resistance equal to fives times the amount of wave tokens spent on this effect (energy resistance 5 for 1 token, energy resistance 10 for 2 tokens, etc.). The energy resistance applies to the five energy types (acid, cold, electricity, fire, sonic).
Grant a resistance bonus on saves against death effects, fear effects, and mind-affecting effects. The bonus is equal to twice the amount of tokens spent on this effect (+2 for 1 token, +4 for 2 tokens, etc.). If 2 tokens are spent on this effect, it also grants immunity to death effects. If 3 tokens are spent, it also grants immunity to fear effects. If 5 tokens are spent, it grants immunity to all effects that belong to one of these three types.
Grant a feat. It must be a feat that he psychic life beacon has and it must appear on the psychic life beacon bonus feats list (see below). Each feat costs 3 tokens, and the feat is only granted to an affected creature if it fulfills its prerequisites (a granted feat may however be used as a prerequisite for another granted feat). If the feat can be used a number of times per day, losing and regaining the feat again in the same day do not grant additional uses in the day. If the feat normally gives permanent hit points, the additional hit points are temporary hit points. If the feat can only be gained once, its benefit does not stack with itself. If it can be gained many times, its benefit stacks and affected creatures gain as many instances of the feat as the psychic life beacon has (thus, if the psychic life beacon has taken Toughness twice, she may grant 6 temporary hit points for 3 tokens, but not 12 temporary hit points for 6 tokens).
Grant a turn and rebuke resistance equal to twice the amount of wave tokens spent on this effect. This turn resistance does not stack with the turn resistance from any other source, even the affected creature's own.
Impose a morale penalty on saving throws equal to the amount of wave tokens spent on this effect. This is a mind-affecting effect.
Impose a morale penalty on skill checks equal to the amount of wave tokens spent on this effect. This is a mind-affecting effect.

Touch of Healing, psionic (Su): At 5th level, the psychic life beacon gains the ability to heal a creature she touches without spending power points. This ability is a standard action to activate and can only be used when she is psionically focused. Touch of Healing can bring a creature to half its normal maximum hit points, but not beyond; it will not work on a creature whose current hit points amount is equal to or greater than half its hit points total. The amount of hit points provided by this ability depends on her manifester level and current power points reserve, as shown on the table below (always use the lowest healing value):

Manifester LevelCurrent Power Points ReserveHealed Hit Points Per Use
5th133
6th186
8th299
10th4412
12th6315
14th8518
16th11121
18th14024
20th17227

This ability has no effect on creatures that are immune to the psychic healing wave of a psychic life beacon of the character's class level +3. This is unlike Touch of Healing (a reserve feat from Complete Champion), which can only heal creatures healed by positive energy. This ability counts as the Touch of Healing feat for the purpose of prerequisites.

Remove Disease (Psi): At 6th level, a psychic life beacon learns to use her healing abilities for a more refined purpose; the cleansing of diseases. She can produce a Remove Disease effect, as the spell, once per week. The effect is psionic, not magical; treat the spell as if it was a psi-like ability of the Psychometabolism (Healing) discipline. The psychic life beacon uses her normal manifester level for the purpose of the effect. To use this ability, she must expend her psionic focus.

The psychic life beacon can use this ability one additional time per week for every four levels after 6th (twice per week at 10th, three times at 14th, and so forth).

Damage Reduction (Ex): At 7th level, the psychic life beacon learns to harness her psionic powers to permanently increase the resilience of her own body, giving her damage reduction. Subtract 1 from the damage the character takes each time she is dealt damage from a weapon or a natural attack. This damage does not improve as rapidly as the barbarian's; it only rises by 1 point every 4 levels after 7th (11th level, 15th level, and so forth). Damage reduction can reduce damage to 0 but not below 0.

Bonus Feat: At 9th level and every four levels thereafter, the psychic life beacon gains a feat that improves her own vitality and ability to recover from damage. These bonus feats come in addition to the normal feats a character of any class receives every 3 levels. She must still meet all prerequisites for a bonus feat, including ability score minimums. The psychic life beacon selects her bonus feats from the following list: Altitude Adaptation (Frost), Cold Endurance (Frost) (Improved Cold Endurance (Frost)), Endurance (Controlled Respiration (SS), Diehard, Expert Swimmer (Sto), Steadfast Determination (PHBII), Strong Stomach (City)). Heat Endurance (Sand) (Improved Heat Endurance (Sand)), Faster Healing (CW), Improved Toughness (CW, LM), Landwalker (Sto), Rapid Metabolism, Second Wind (MH), and Toughness (Pain Mastery (SS), Roll With It (SS)).

True Heal (Psi): At 13th level, a psychic life beacon can spend 13 power points when using a remove disease attempt to produce a more powerful effect. She loses her psionic focus normally, but the effect is that of a Heal spell instead of a Remove Disease spell. The psi-like ability belongs to the Psychometabolism (Healing) discipline. It does not rely on positive energy and cures any creature that would be affected by the psychic life beacon's psychic healing wave. Finally, it cures 130 hit points of damage (not 10 points per level). The psychic life beacon can spend more than 13 power points, but never more than her manifester level. Every additional power point increases the healing provided by 10.

dsollen
2015-06-30, 09:40 AM
I like this class, and it met my original requirements well. The one thing I would say is that it can't do much about save-or-die style spells, which seem to be the real threat at upper level. I would consider adding some ways to help protect against them once the char reaches mid or higher level.

As a possible suggestion, tie it into her healing wave. Let her replace heals with a pulse that boosts saves (I would say a flat boost to will, with 1/2 boost to the other less-mind-related) to all that it hits? Or alternatively and more flexibly let her augment the heal with a will save. She can spend x pp for heal and y pp towards boosting saves? Then she may get the ability to boost will saves first, reflex second, and con last, and perhaps choose which to boost? Not that I'm committed to that, just seems like something to help protect against such attacks could help.

Otherwise good job! I'm sad more didn't try my challenge, but glad to see someone join in :)

Deepbluediver
2015-06-30, 10:52 AM
I'm sad more didn't try my challenge, but glad to see someone join in :)
Sorry- my plate is kinda full with other projects atm. But I've been reading every post with interest.

Network
2015-06-30, 04:48 PM
I like this class, and it met my original requirements well. The one thing I would say is that it can't do much about save-or-die style spells, which seem to be the real threat at upper level. I would consider adding some ways to help protect against them once the char reaches mid or higher level.

As a possible suggestion, tie it into her healing wave. Let her replace heals with a pulse that boosts saves (I would say a flat boost to will, with 1/2 boost to the other less-mind-related) to all that it hits? Or alternatively and more flexibly let her augment the heal with a will save. She can spend x pp for heal and y pp towards boosting saves? Then she may get the ability to boost will saves first, reflex second, and con last, and perhaps choose which to boost? Not that I'm committed to that, just seems like something to help protect against such attacks could help.

Otherwise good job! I'm sad more didn't try my challenge, but glad to see someone join in :)

Seems good. It would make it a good buffer in addition to a good healer. I will look at the marshal for balance comparison.

Edit: List of planned additions:
For psychic healing wave: ability to give saving throw bonuses, immunity to death effects, and to share feats from the bonus feat list through it. The 20th level capstone ability to heal and deal damage at the same time.
Remove disease: ability to trade in attempts for a Heal or Restoration effect.
Other: ability to give temporary hit points to allies (may be convered by the feat sharing ability), ability to gain the regenerative powers of an elan.

Network
2015-07-17, 06:24 PM
I made a slight update to the class by introducing the wave token mechanics. What do you think of it? Is it clear or does it need rewording?

I consider the class playable up to 19th level. I just need to add the capstone but I think it's pretty obvious what it will do. I'll write the elan racial traits benefits as bonus feats.