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View Full Version : D&D 3.x Other MoI Soul Crystal Power as an obtainable item



tygah
2015-07-31, 02:10 PM
This was something I came up with while trying to find ways to make Psionics come in new flavours.

For those not familiar (or who don't want to go look it up) Soul Crystal is a 7th level Psionic power on page 107-8 of Magic of Incarnum. You manifest it, taking a bit of a psion as yet unborn, one of your powers and some of your power points and make a crystal that anyone can then use to manifest that power. Apparently, without even the need for a Use Psionic Device check.

There's also no easy way to figure out just what these things should cost, because, well, Wizards never assumed you'd be getting them that way. But theoretically speaking, there could well be a market. So I sat down to figure out a price. That's where I'm after the input - does this seem right to you, too high/low? I aimed to have it more expensive than a Dorje since you appear to need no UPD check and can augment it as long as there are PP left in the Soul Crystal.

For the example here, I've assumed a 14th level Kineticist, making a Soul Crystal of Energy Missile.

First, we need to assume that you're paying someone to manifest the Soul Crystal power, just as if you'd paid someone pre-game when you bought that Dorje.
The Player's Handbook has a table of what it costs to hire a spellcaster, so if we assume that Spell = Power and Caster = Manifester, and the PHB gives us this line:
Spell, 7th-level ... Caster level 70 gp
7*14*70=980gp so far.

I based the next part off the cost to make a Dorje of Energy Missile. The XPH says:
The base price of a dorje is its manifester level the power level 750 gp
Again, filling in the numbers for our Kineticist manifesting Energy Missile gives us 14*2*750=21000
This assumes of course that you wish to be able to manifest at the highest available level, in this case 14. Change the figures accordingly for lower.
Total cost so far: 21,980gp

Third, the manifester has to decide how many PP to put into the Soul Crystal for the recipient to use. Higher amounts may require Cognizance Crystals or some other form of getting more PP. Perhaps multiple can contribute to the making, but that'd increase the cost in the first step, as you'd need a second manifester. We won't touch on this here.
A Dorje has 50 uses of an item, and this power costs 3PP unaugmented, giving us 50*3=150PP (which will need to be calculated accordingly for any other power, of course). In order to remain with the theme of 'better than a dorje', we'll assume that 50*(Power's base PP cost) is the minimum amount of PP that need to be put in.
Since there exist no easy means of guessing the gold cost of a power point, I've arbitrarily assigned PP as having a cost of 100gp per PP.
For this example, 150PP = 15000gp.
Total cost so far: 36,980gp

Granted that, with this example Soul Crystal, anyone who picks it up can do some pretty insane things. With a manifester level of 14, and a base PP cost of 3, this means this can be augmented (+1 PP to gain +1d6 and +1 to save DC), according to RAW limitlessly barring manifester level, which means we can end up with +11d6 and +11 to DC on top of the original 3d6 of the power, which is quite impressive and quite probably a bit broken, so some kind of upper limit ought to be imposed.

But that upper limit aside (as it ought to be on the power, not the Soul Crystal IMO) what do you think of my (attempt at) pricing a Soul Crystal?

Edit: Okay, it's been pointed out I made an oversight - namely that Soul Crystal has a duration on it. Short of finding a way to avoid, bypass, extend or in any other way mitigate this, I can't think of a way this is actually viable.

The Mentalist
2015-08-01, 07:07 AM
As for the edit, if we're talking homebrew anyway, there's no reason part of the price increase from making it a more expensive djore can't be solidifying the power into a stable form.

As for broken-ness and price points, looking at wands may not be the best option for looking at those points. I personally feel that this more resembles that nice little magic item in the DMG, Necklace of Fireballs.

Just some thoughts on how to proceed. Will look into it a little later when I'm not getting ready for bed.

Network
2015-08-01, 07:46 PM
Granted that, with this example Soul Crystal, anyone who picks it up can do some pretty insane things. With a manifester level of 14, and a base PP cost of 3, this means this can be augmented (+1 PP to gain +1d6 and +1 to save DC), according to RAW limitlessly barring manifester level, which means we can end up with +11d6 and +11 to DC on top of the original 3d6 of the power, which is quite impressive and quite probably a bit broken, so some kind of upper limit ought to be imposed.
How? It's quite explicit that you can never spend more power points on a power than your manifester level, and the power stored in a Soul Crystal has the manifester level of the person who created it in the first place. The text in MoI even makes a clause about it. Here it is:

The wielder's manifester level is equal to your own manifester level when you create the crystal, so the wielder can choose to augment the power you implanted in the crystal (if manifester level and the soul crystal's remaining power point reserve permit)
That's a big if. It's quite explicit that Soul Crystal does not let you exceed the augmentation limit on a power. Also, with maximum augmentation, the Soul Crystal can be used at most 2 times, against 50 times for a dorje. This more than compensates for the ability to augment it by more than 5 pp (a dorje can be augmented by at most 5 pp; it's in the SRD).

Edit: Okay, it's been pointed out I made an oversight - namely that Soul Crystal has a duration on it. Short of finding a way to avoid, bypass, extend or in any other way mitigate this, I can't think of a way this is actually viable.
First, your calculations are incorrect. The soul crystal itself should cost (caster level * power level * 10) gp, or 910 gp (you are going to ask a psion to cast it, and soul crystal cannot be augmented). You must then ask the psion to store a power of at most 7th level that the psion also knows (most 13th-level psions know only one 7th-level power though), which is going to cost (power points invested * power level * 10 gp). The soul crystal will then last 13 hours, but at least it lets you benefit from a power that the psion knows without involving him directly in the task you needed the power for. With this rule, a soul crystal storing a 7th-level power would cost 2730 gp, but at least you get to use the power twice in the next 13 hours. If you want a power with a level higher than 7th, or if you want an higher manifester level than 13th, you'll have to pay an extra (70 gp per manifester level beyond 13th; you need a manifester level of 15th for a 8th-level power and of 17th for a 9th-level power, at minimum). Each increase in manifester level, of course, increases the soul crystal's maximum duration by 1 hour. 70 gp for 1 additional hour may or may not be worth it by itself, depending on duration.

Of course, an hired spellcaster/manifester is free to charge you less than his caster/manifester level allows, or to lower it if they are of the "I can't give you more than you pay for" variety, in which case the costs are going to change downwards.

A nice power, overall, but there are pros and cons to choosing soul crystals over dorjes. For two charges on a 7th-level power, both are going to cost the same. The dorje costs slightly less if there are more charges, if anything.