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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    balistafreak's Avatar

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    Default [3.5] Help Selecting Powers (and Building) an Ardent

    Yes, here's yet another one of my "help me build" this threads.

    Right now I've created and archived a divine caster, an Incarnate, and am already making great progress into an arcane caster. A Warlock I'm sure practically builds itself. I'm delaying a melee Tome of Battle build until much later, and eventually I'm going to make an Artificer build to see exactly what I've been missing in terms of magic items, due to my obsession with Vow of Poverty misreadings. (Yes, I already have a thread open on that right now. Shoot me.) Right now I have my eyes set on building a psionic character, yet I have little experience with psionics...

    The first thing I knew when I started was that I wanted to (ab)use Monastic Training and Tashalatora to grant the psionic character Monk AC bonuses, unarmed damage, and flurry progression as if he was a full Monk. After reading up on the various psionic classes, I highlighted Psionic Warrior and Ardent as two characters with good BAB to eventually build into a Psionic Gish-type - no base psionic class with full BAB exists as far as I can tell, not one that's good at any rate. Some further reading made me lean towards Ardent, due to its higher amount of PP to throw around, making it more psionic than melee.

    My impression of psionics was that it was like MMO casting - you have a pool of points that gets spent through various methods. The harder the method, the more powerful the effect, and that all methods were available at any given time; no "fire-and-forget missiles" like the Vancian system. I walked in knowing that the hardest part would be picking the psionic powers.

    Three hours later of cross-referencing the SRD and Complete Psionics, I headdesked in disgust. It turns out this is like picking a Sorcerer's spells, except with the small problem that I don't know what psionics can and can't do, and therefore have to read every single power. And that sucks. A lot.

    Then you throw in the unnecessarily-obfuscating Mantle system, and the whole process starts to bog down. Seeing as the Substitution ACF seems basically the key to not being full of blatant holes, I have to do this and individual power selection. Uh-huh. This is terrible.

    And I haven't even started to understand the full potential of Metapsionics yet, which seems pretty key. I know about DMM and Incantrix already, but it seems like there are a few tricks for Psionics as well, if not quite as broken due to the more linear nature of psionics.

    So now I call upon the Playground to aid me in my quest to make psionics character. Here's as far as I've gotten:

    6th level Elan Ardent, because I felt I might as well pick yet another immortal race. That, and being an aberration seems kind of cool.

    Feat selection is being worked out right now, but it mostly picks itself. As a VoP abuser with two flaws I have six universal feats. It's clear that I will be taking Monastic Training/Tashalatora as well as Acquire Psicrystal and Psicrystal Containment to have two psionic foci, one to maintain focus abilities and the other to blow on an ability that I will more likely than not pick. This leaves me with two feats, one of which will probably go into a Psionic Focus-related ability (one of the silly kung-fu ones or psionic one, I'm not sure) and the other into acquiring Psionic Focus as a move action through Psionic Meditation.

    Mantles of Conflict, Freedom, and two others. I have no clue which ones should be primary due to the fact that I have no clue what power selection is.

    The goal, as stated before, is psionic gish, preferably more psionic than melee. What sort of power selection would that require?
    Intelligence is knowing that a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is knowing not to put tomato in fruit salad. Charisma is convincing someone it's a good idea anyways.

    I am a 12/13/13/17/15/17 True Neutral Sorcerer2.

    Tainted Bonds, a newly-created Touhou x D&D 3.5 CYOA. Just read these before posting anywhere. Talk about it here.

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    Troll in the Playground
     
    ghost_warlock's Avatar

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    Default Re: [3.5] Help Selecting Powers (and Building) an Ardent

    The short answer is to nab Track at some point and then head into slayer if you want a gish. It's essentially the best, and easiest to enter, non-3rd-party, psi-gish PrC. An elocater dip also has some nice stuff, but requires a heck of a lot of non-psionic feats to enter for a character that doesn't normally get a lot of bonus feats.

    For power selection, it's really about what you want to do with the character, specifically. The Psicrystal Affinity + Vigor + Share Pain trick is pretty much universal, though.

    A few build guides:
    Ardent handbook (archive)
    Psion handbook
    Wilder handbook
    Last edited by ghost_warlock; 2010-05-04 at 10:22 PM.

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Flumph

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    Default Re: [3.5] Help Selecting Powers (and Building) an Ardent

    I'm a fan of the Life and Time mantles, for the same reason I always seem to end up favoring them in Mage: the Awakening games, but it's largely a matter of personal taste.
    Last edited by Divide by Zero; 2010-05-04 at 10:24 PM.

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    balistafreak's Avatar

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    Default Re: [3.5] Help Selecting Powers (and Building) an Ardent

    What's this super-efficent health trick I keep hearing about? Something about a Psicrystal, using Share Pain on it, then manifesting Vigor on both it and yourself for essentially twice the health.

    Also, this is kind of off the wall, but I have this crazy idea. I want to turn my Psicrystal into a weapon: because beating people up with a manifestation of yourself is bloody hilarious.

    Assume Monk unarmed damage applies to all monk attacks - is there any way to flail around with a weapon that doubles as your familiar? Item Familiar seems kind of half-way there, but I'm not fully convinced.
    Intelligence is knowing that a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is knowing not to put tomato in fruit salad. Charisma is convincing someone it's a good idea anyways.

    I am a 12/13/13/17/15/17 True Neutral Sorcerer2.

    Tainted Bonds, a newly-created Touhou x D&D 3.5 CYOA. Just read these before posting anywhere. Talk about it here.

    Awesome remastered ballista avatar by Savannah!

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    Lycanthromancer's Avatar

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    Default Re: [3.5] Help Selecting Powers (and Building) an Ardent

    Quote Originally Posted by balistafreak View Post
    What's this super-efficent health trick I keep hearing about? Something about a Psicrystal, using Share Pain on it, then manifesting Vigor on both it and yourself for essentially twice the health.
    You can share any powers you manifest on yourself with your psicrystal. So you share vigor with it, then manifest share pain, also sharing it with your pet rock. In this case, you target your share pain on your psicrystal, and it targets its share pain on you. Now, whenever one of you takes damage, half the damage is routed to your share pain target (though a psicrystal takes 8 less damage off the top, due to hardness).

    Since you only take half damage, that doubles the efficiency of your temporary hit points.

    For instance, let's say you have this combo up, and you spend 10 pp on 50 hp. You get hit by a 10d6 fireball for average damage (35 damage). You lose 18 temporary hp (instead of 35), with the remainder going to your psicrystal (17-8=9).

    This basically doubles the efficiency of your temporary hp by halving the damage you take.

    Quote Originally Posted by balistafreak View Post
    Also, this is kind of off the wall, but I have this crazy idea. I want to turn my Psicrystal into a weapon: because beating people up with a manifestation of yourself is bloody hilarious.

    Assume Monk unarmed damage applies to all monk attacks - is there any way to flail around with a weapon that doubles as your familiar? Item Familiar seems kind of half-way there, but I'm not fully convinced.
    There's a psionic PrC that does just this; the psychic weapon master.

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