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    Default Psionics Unleashed - How Psionics Works in Pathfinder

    Psionics Unleashed - how Psionics works in Pathfinder

    *UNDER CONSTRUCTION* (this note will be removed when the update is complete.)

    10/25/12
    When I wrote this guide almost 2 years ago, not only was my understanding of Pathfinder much more limited, but several important changes/errata have been made to the material itself since then. As such, there are a number of revisions I'm going to be making to improve the accuracy, readability, and overall quality of this guide.

    More than any other subsystem in D&D, Psionics has been my passion (as my username may indicate) since its 3.5 revision. (To be clear, I was a fan of the concept since before then, but it wasn’t until 3.5 that the quality of WotC’s crunch was on par with the idea.) Though Paizo has yet to come up with their own, first-party version of the system in Pathfinder, I was very happy to find that the talented and dedicated designers at Dreamscarred Press (DSP) were willing to carry the torch to this new environment in their stead. To date, I’ve pre-ordered Psionics Unleashed, Psionics Expanded and Ultimate Psionics from them (supporting their kickstarter for the latter), and consider every penny well-spent. As such, I feel I am in a comfortable position to evaluate the overall quality of DSP’s design.

    My verdict? The quality is stellar. Pathfinder raised the gameplay bar considerably, delivering solidly on the “3.5, but better” desires that many of us 3.5 fans had, and earning their place as a solid household name in tabletop gaming. This left DSP with high expectations to meet; though they are third-party publishers for this system, it is my opinion that their material is every bit as good - and in fact better in several places - than the primary source offerings for Pathfinder.

    But much has changed - both grand and subtle - between 3.5 and PF, and not just where psionics is concerned. As a result, I put this guide together to help lovers of psionics like myself - and perhaps even those playgroups that are just wondering what the fuss is all about - understand what exactly has changed between the two versions and what they’ll need to keep in mind as they go forward into introducing or reintroducing psionics to their campaigns.

    Special and copious thanks go to Saph for granting me permission to reference the excellent 3.5/Pathfinder Handbook. Please read Saph's guide before this one (if you haven't already) for general tips on how 3.5. differs from Pathfinder; it is assumed that you will be, if not versed in this information, at least exposed to the differences going forward.

    As I mentioned at the start of the previous iteration of this guide, there's always a chance I'll get something wrong, or need to provide clarification around a given point or recommendation. If so, please feel free to chime in and let me know your feedback - whether positive or constructive.

    Without further ado - the handbook.
    Last edited by Psyren; 2012-10-25 at 10:29 AM. Reason: Overhaul
    Alphonse Elric by Fay Graydon
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    First, please don't start threads with ideas you don't support just to see what reactions you get. That's almost the definition of trolling.

    Second, the whole "blue text" thing is not a forum rule or even a recommended procedure. If someone wants to do it in their own posts, fine, but everyone should stop telling people that they "need to" or "should have" posted in blue just because they're being sarcastic/ironic/whatever.

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    Default Re: Psionics Unleashed - how Psionics works in Pathfinder

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    Last edited by Psyren; 2012-10-25 at 11:14 AM.
    Alphonse Elric by Fay Graydon
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    First, please don't start threads with ideas you don't support just to see what reactions you get. That's almost the definition of trolling.

    Second, the whole "blue text" thing is not a forum rule or even a recommended procedure. If someone wants to do it in their own posts, fine, but everyone should stop telling people that they "need to" or "should have" posted in blue just because they're being sarcastic/ironic/whatever.

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    Default Re: Psionics Unleashed - how Psionics works in Pathfinder

    2. Intro



    As with Saph's handbook, the purpose of this guide is to answer two main questions:

    1. What’s changed?

    2. Is it any good?


    If you were a fan of psionics in 3.5., the answer to the second question is thankfully "yes!" The Dreamscarred Press folks know what they're doing where psionics is concerned. In true Pathfinder tradition, the races and classes have all been overhauled, such that going 1-20 in a base class is now very viable. Prestige classes still exist, but you will no longer feel as though you’re missing out by not taking one.

    The answer to the first question, meanwhile, is a bit more complex. For most people, I envision it to be "more than you know, and less than you think." There are some changes that caught me by surprise; furthermore, it’s important to be as aware of what hasn’t changed, and why, as what has. But don't feel overwhelmed - this is still, at it's heart, the psionics system that fans know and love.

    Enough preamble - let’s open our minds!
    Last edited by Psyren; 2012-10-25 at 11:14 AM.
    Alphonse Elric by Fay Graydon
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    First, please don't start threads with ideas you don't support just to see what reactions you get. That's almost the definition of trolling.

    Second, the whole "blue text" thing is not a forum rule or even a recommended procedure. If someone wants to do it in their own posts, fine, but everyone should stop telling people that they "need to" or "should have" posted in blue just because they're being sarcastic/ironic/whatever.

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    Default Re: Psionics Unleashed - how Psionics works in Pathfinder

    3. General Changes - Races, Skills, Feats

    Races

    As with Core Pathfinder, the psionic races are all much stronger than their 3.5. equivalents. The "net bonus" rule of thumb is still in effect - namely, that all player races should have a net stat bonus of +2. (This generally either means that they get +2 to any one stat, or +2 to two different pre-set stats with a -2 to a third stat.) The Pathfinder removal of LA from player races has been applied to these guys as well. A summary of the stat changes follows:

    Spoiler
    Show


    Blues: +2 Int, +2 Dex, -2 Str

    Dromites: +2 Cha, +2 Dex, -2 Str

    Duergar: +2 Wis, +2 Con, -2 Cha

    Elans: +2 to any one ability score

    Half-Giants: +2 Str, +2 Wis, -2 Dex

    Maenads: +2 to any one ability score

    Ophiduans: +2 Wis, +2 Dex, -2 Cha

    Xephs: +2 Dex, +2 Cha, -2 Str



    In addition: all of these races, rather than simply getting an innate PP reserve of varying size, get Wild Talent as a bonus feat. Moreover, this version of Wild Talent automatically converts to Psionic Talent if they take levels in a psionic class (even if they multiclass into one at some point after first level.) These feats are identical to their XPH versions.

    This change is fantastic. It's like every psionic race gets a bonus feat, AND stat adjustments, AND racial abilities (I'll cover those in a bit), all for 0 LA. Pathfinder did a great job of moving us all away from "Human" as the knee-jerk race choices for everything. Sure, Wild and Psionic Talent aren’t the greatest feats around, but they’re still free and better than what we had before.

    Skills

    System Changes

    See Saph's guide - the same changes to the underlying system apply here.

    New Skills

    Perhaps I should just say "new skill." Autohypnosis has come back, but has some changes from its XPH version. Psicraft and UPD have been removed/rolled into Spellcraft and UMD, respectively. This is an expansion of the transparency rules in the 3.5 SRD, as those skills did not previously cover psionics.

    The book does state that you can reinstate these separate skills if you wish, but recommends that you do so as part of the broader Psionics Is Different campaign variant, rather than psionics and magic being transparent with respect to powers but not skills. For the sake of simplicity, I will assume transparency as the default situation in this guide and my recommendations.

    Autohypnosis changes:

    Spoiler
    Show


    Ignore Caltrop Wound: Unchanged

    Memorize Writing: Unchanged

    Resist Dying: DC to self-stabilize reduced to 15 (from 20)

    Resist Fear: You must now make an additional will save if you succeed on your AH check, rather than automatically shrugging off the fear. This additional save is made at a +4 competence bonus, however.

    Tolerate Poison: You must now make an additional fort save if your AH check succeeds. As above, you get a +4 competence bonus. This still has no effect on the initial saving throw.

    Willpower: This use now specifies that even some free actions can be strenuous. Whether this is a nerf or not depends on how your DM was handling it before; this is more a reminder or clarification than a true change.



    Feats

    This being Pathfinder, feats are now earned more quickly over a characters career (every odd level rather than the regular progression.) See Saph's handbook or the PFSRD for more.

    With Pathfinder's greater number of feats, the continued existence of feat taxes (like Psionic Meditation, which is unchanged) is less onerous.

    Item Creation

    In keeping with UMD and Spellcraft taking over for UPD and Psicraft, the item creation feats have also been combined. Craft Dorje, Imprint Stone and their ilk are gone. Instead, Craft Wand is used to make Dorjes, Craft Staff to make Psicrowns, Scribe Scroll to make Power Stones etc. The only true psionic item creation feats that remain separate are Scribe Tattoo and Craft Cognizance Crystal.

    I'll cover the feats in greater detail later as well.
    Last edited by Psyren; 2012-10-25 at 11:14 AM.
    Alphonse Elric by Fay Graydon
    Extended Sig (Handbooks/Creations)
    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    First, please don't start threads with ideas you don't support just to see what reactions you get. That's almost the definition of trolling.

    Second, the whole "blue text" thing is not a forum rule or even a recommended procedure. If someone wants to do it in their own posts, fine, but everyone should stop telling people that they "need to" or "should have" posted in blue just because they're being sarcastic/ironic/whatever.

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    Default Re: Pathfinder Psionics vs. XPH Psionics - A Handbook

    4. Races (Detailed)

    The following apply to all psionic player races in Pathfinder:

    - 0 LA: PF's best change. Don't drag the humans down; raise the nonhumans up!

    - Wild Talent: As I mentioned above, psionic races simply get Wild Talent as a bonus feat rather than having an innate PP reserve. At any point that you take levels in a psionic class, this becomes Psionic Talent instead.

    - Psionic Aptitude: When leveling in a psionic class, any of the main psionic races can, instead of gaining a hit point or skill point, gain a power point instead. Given that one power point is roughly worth 5 hp (Vigor), for the vast majority of psionic race/class combinations this is the best option available. Combined with the above, plus Pathfinder's increased number of feats and bonus feats, you can get a truly impressive number of power points with little investment. (This option effectively makes every psionic race a Kalashtar.)

    Blues

    Spoiler
    Show


    Once a footnote in the XPH, Blues have evolved into a rich race all their own.

    Fluff, in brief:

    Some of their fluff in PsU seems to have come from this article - particularly the bit about other goblins fearing and mistrusting them, and seeking to take them out at a young age. Blue genes are apparently very dominant, meaning the offspring of a goblin and a blue will always be a blue, and if left unchecked they can assimilate an entire tribe in a few generations, giving some justification to the mistrust. Blues are not cowardly or evil however (at least, not as a race.)

    Buffs

    The removal of LA is probably the biggest one, and Blues would be playable with that alone. But PF didn't stop there. Blues are identical to their SRD counterparts except as follows:

    • +2 Int, +2 Dex, -2 Str: Blues make exceptional Psions, or Psychic Rogues/Lurks if you get those classes imported to Pathfinder. Like other PF goblins, they retain 30 ft. move despite being Small.
    • Repletion: As the Elan ability, Blues don't need to eat. A little weird, but it gives them a use for their Wild Talent even if they don't level in a psionic class (if your campaign tracks that sort of thing.)
    • Keen senses: Racial bonus on Perception - can't go wrong with this.
    • Stealthy: Racial bonus on Stealth and Ride (?) checks. It’s smaller than the ones they get in the XPH, but since cross-class skills are much cheaper in PF it evens out. Speaking of which, Stealth is always a class skill for Blues. Definitely handy!
    • Weapon Familiarity: "Goblin" weapons are always martial for them. I can't recall any offhand, though there should be some in Paizo material or 3.5 somewhere.
    • Wild/Psionic Talent means they get an extra PP over their XPH cousins.


    Nerfs:

    • Pariah: Blues take a minor penalty on interacting with non-goblins, and a bonus on interacting with goblins. (You'd think it would be the other way around, given their fluff, but anyway.) It's unlikely most of your party's interaction will be with goblinoids, so probably don't make the Blue be the party face (unless he's a Telepath... mwahaha)
    • Their Ride and Move Silently bonus was shrunk, but rolling Hide in makes up for that I think.


    Verdict?

    Blues are definitely much more playable now. It's very hard to find small races with 30 ft. move, much less ones with so many other goodness going for them. Repletion feels tacked-on (The saving throw one makes more sense for Blues given their survivor background, at least to me,) but it's better than no ability at all, which is what they had before. All-in-all, Blues won the lottery in Pathfinder and are well worth your time.



    Dromites:

    Spoiler
    Show


    Fluff:

    Dromite fluff is largely unchanged from the XPH. They're psionic ants, what more do you want

    Buffs:

    Again, the big one is the removal of LA. For the rest:

    • +2 Cha, +2 Dex, -2 Str - No more Wis penalty! Not sure what it was in aid of anyway.
    • Their racial energy resistance now explicitly stacks with that provided by spells and powers. Yeah!
    • Like blues, Wild Talent gives them more PP than they naturally had before.
    • Scent: This ability just got way better, because in Pathfinder the Track feat was abolished. (See Saph's handbook.) A Dromite Nomad can be an excellent party tracker, since Nomads get Survival as a class skill.
    • Compound Eyes: racial bonus to Perception (amusingly, this now benefits Listen as well as Spot thanks to PF skill consolidation.)


    Nerfs:

    • They're humanoid (with the insectoid subtype) now, as opposed to Monstrous Humanoid, which loses them a few immunities e.g. Charm Person.
    • Their natural armor was severely cut down, from +3 to +1. Still, that's the price we pay for net stat bonuses and 0 LA.


    Verdict?

    The loss of Natural Armor hurts a bit (they could have left it at +2 I think) but the buffs to their racial resistance and the loss of LA make up for it. I'd say Dromites came out ahead, though not as much as Blues and Half-Giants did.



    Duergar

    Spoiler
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    Fluff:

    These guys have fantastic fluff. Imagine if the Dwarves in Moria dug into the earth and found Cthulhu instead of a Balrog. They didn't actually wake him up, but the sheer horror of what they saw, and what could have happened, warped their bodies and minds into a different type of Dwarf. They now dedicate their entire lives to keeping... it... asleep, and can't understand why other races don't believe them, why can't they see?? Nothing matters as much as keeping that eldritch horror down there from waking up. No, we won't take you to see him, that might wake him up! You have to trust us. What do you mean slavery is immoral, we've got to get these buttresses and giant sigils completed on schedule, he could wake up any minute!

    In short, they're now Jerks with a Cause, and there's just a tiny, creepy chance they might be right and the Big Picture is worth a few civil rights violations. At least, it is to them. Duergar believe they are saving the world, and simply don't have time for the petty problems or considerations of the other races.

    Oh, and their eyes glow now - a nice and rather disquieting effect that was not present in 3.5.

    Buffs:

    Unlike the last two, I'm not totally convinced the LA removal was enough for these guys. Certainly they lost a lot more (or gained a lot less) than Blues and Dromites did.

    • +2 Con, +2 Wis, -2 Cha: -4 Cha was pretty heavy for these guys; it's good to see they won't crumple to one Ego Whip anymore, though it didn't slow down their manifesting any (except for the odd Duergar Wilder.) Naturally, they make great Psywars.
    • Hardy: As the PF Dwarf ability, but explicity applies to psionics as well. (Useful for a "Psionics Are Different" game.) But see "Poison" in nerfs below.
    • Dwarf Blood: Naturally, they count as dwarves for any effect that cares.


    Nerfs:

    • Their Darkvision was cut down to 60 ft. in line with most everyone else. And yet they're STILL light-sensitive!
    • Poison, paralysis and phantasm immunities have been removed.
    • Stonecunning has been removed entirely.
    • They do not gain any of the other PF Dwarf buffs, like Greed and Defensive Training.
    • Their Invisibility PLA was removed, and replaced with the much weaker Cloud Mind Even worse, it's Charisma-based!
    • Because their PP comes from Wild Talent, they start with 1 less power point than an XPH Duergar would.
    • No bonuses to Perception or Stealth to match their previous bonuses to Move Silently, Listen and Spot. (Though the Wis buff handles the latter.)


    Verdict?

    All in all, I feel Duergars got the short end of the stick. (Apologies for the pun.) It's possible that all those negatives are offset by losing the +1 LA, but I'm not quite convinced. I mean, poison and paralysis immunity alone... I think they came out the worst in the conversion of all the races.

    This isn’t to say they’re not PLAYABLE - they are - just that they weren’t buffed as much in their conversion as the other LA races were. They’re basically regular dwarves with psionic ability and light sensitivity now. Love the fluff though - you can justify all kinds of wackiness/depravity if your ultimate goal is keeping Cthulhu in bed. Hell, if you’re right, it could even be Good!


    Elans

    Spoiler
    Show


    Fluff:

    Not sure how I feel about this one. They aren't "the ultimate humans" anymore, simply because they can pull members of any race to be Elans, similar to how Hellbred can start as anything. It makes them kind of generic to me. (It doesn't help that almost every single Elan drawn in the book has pointy ears. )

    But you're not hear to read my rants about fluff, so lets get to the breakdown.

    Buffs:

    • +2 to any ability score: That's right, Elan Wilders are now feasible - no more Cha penalty!
    • Immortal: I think they're the only truly immortal race currently in Pathfinder (unless you bring Warforged over or something); can anyone confirm? Resistance, Resilience and Repletion are still here too, and unchanged.


    Nerfs:

    • Here's the big one, that you probably already knew about going into Pathfinder: Elans are no longer aberrations. They are "Humanoid (aberrant)" instead. I'll pause a moment while all the world's aspiring Beholder Mages shed silent tears. But then, since Alter Self, Metamorphosis etc. all got nerfed as well, it’s not that big a deal anyway. It does mean you’re susceptible to “Person” spells now though, so be careful.
    • Despite losing the Cha penalty, they still suffer a minor penalty on Cha-based skills when dealing with non-Elans (read: everyone, there aren't many Elans!). However, having now watched Doctor Who, I have a better understanding of how an immortal might be difficult to relate to (Hmm... are Elans Timelords?)


    Verdict?

    Whether Elans are worse off or not depends on (a) if you cared about a Cha penalty and (b) what you were doing with their Aberration type. Given the nerf to Metamorphosis and similar effects in general, I'm not sure still being a full aberration would have been a huge advantage anyway, but at least it would have kept them immune to Hold Person. Oh well.



    Half-Giants

    Spoiler
    Show


    Fluff

    Largely unchanged from the XPH. They're still vehemently opposed to slavery or even legal incarceration, and yet are curiously not predisposed to chaotic alignments.

    Buffs:

    • +2 Wis, +2 Str, -2 Dex - as before, these guys (and girls) make great Psywars. Pity the Con bonus is gone though.
    • Giant Blood - they now count as both Human and Giant, similar to Half-Elves and Half-Orcs. If you can mix 3.5 material with your Pathfinder, take a look at some human-only feats for them.
    • Powerful Build: The LA may be gone, but this is still here! What a great ability. Note that size bonuses are a little weaker in PF, but they are nonetheless helpful.
    • Survivor: Racial bonus to Survival checks; new and handy to have, especially with your Wis bonus. HGs are good trackers.


    Nerfs:

    • As above, no more Con bonus. This sort of pigeonholes them into Wis-based melee (Monks, Rangers, Psywars etc.) but it's definitely worth losing the LA for.
    • Since they are humanoids now, expect the odd Charm Person to ruin your day at least once. (Murphy's Law and all.) And since they still count as Giants for other things, Dwarves and other races can give you a warm time in melee at low levels.


    Verdict?

    Half-Giants absolutely came out ahead, second only to Blues in terms of Pathfinder improvement. If you were slightly hesitant to play one in 3.5, they are a no-brainer in Pathfinder.



    Maenads

    Spoiler
    Show


    Fluff:

    These guys were once the Qunari (Anyone play Dragon Age? Anyone? Bueller?) of the XPH - very taciturn, but capable of berserker rage at the drop of a hat. You Did Not Screw With Maenads. PsU has kept this aspect, and tied it to the sea, making them more of a nautical race. (The parallel between calm and stormy seas and the Maenads themselves is a nice touch that wasn't present in the XPH.)

    Buffs:

    • +2 to any score: This is a flat buff, as previously Maenads had no bonuses or penalties.
    • Sonic Affinity: In addition to their trademark scream, they get a bonus to the DC of any spell or power with the Sonic descriptor. Three guesses what a Maenad's Active Energy Type will be at any given moment (Yes, this applies to their scream as well.)
    • Outburst: As the same ability from the XPH, except instead of being limited to 1/day and 4 rounds, they spend 1 PP each round to keep it going. They can do this at will, giving them a nice outlet as gishes or fighter types. (Note: if you don't have any additional PP, this is actually worse than the regular Outburst since it will only last for 3 rounds instead of 4.)
    • Inner Rage/Ordered Rage: Barbarian seems to be a popular career choice for Maenads. They get free rages per day if they become barbarians (and can use these extra rages to fuel their Outburst instead, if they wish.) Furthermore, Maenads can be Barbarians even if Lawful - a unique quirk that could come in handy for some character concepts.
    • Natural Sailors: Bonuses to Swim and Profession (Sailor) of all things (Why would a PC need that? Just hire a ferryman, summon something, or fly/port. ) They can also move around on a ship deck more easily, with Climb and Acrobatics bonuses on boats. A bit random/situational, but a buff's a buff.
    • Weapon Familiarity: Maenad weapons are martial rather than exotic for them. As with Blues, I don't know of any, but maybe someone else does.


    Nerfs:

    -None! These guys are strictly better than regular Maenads, losing nothing, and gaining a whole host of... well, they gain stuff, at least.

    (Well, okay, if you're low on PP the Outburst won't last as long... but nothing stops you from activating it in one-round bursts while empty.)

    Verdict?

    If you liked Maenads, you'll love them here even more. They still don't really have a place though (they certainly aren't tied to any class in this book) so if you weren't on board with the sparklers before, Pathfinder won't sell you on them either. Other than being the go-to race for Twilight vampires, I'm not sure what else they really have going for them, but they're still solid.

    It would be nice if there was a feat to tie their Outbursting and Raging to Wild Surge instead of barbarism, though they are probably the best fit for the Warrior Wilder. (More on that later.)



    Ophiduans

    Spoiler
    Show


    The new kids on the block, Ophiduans are a race of snake-people created for Pathfinder. (Presumably they replace the Thri-kreen or Yuan-Ti, who are product identity.) Since they're new, there's no buff/nerf to compare them to, so I'll just summarize what they have going for them as "Pros/Cons" instead.

    Fluff:

    Fluffwise they are most similar to the Skarn (of Incarnum fame.) They are obsessed with mental/physical perfection and have little patience for the whimsy of less dedicated races. They seem pretty anal.

    Pros:

    • +2 Dex, +2 Wis, -2 Cha - these guys make fantastic monks. Psywars and Soulknives seem like good choices as well.
    • Scaled Hide: minor NA bonus, very nifty, especially for monks again.
    • Serpent's Bite: For 1 minute/day they get a bite attack, with scaling damage no less. That's 10 rounds of extreme pain, and you can use it in a grapple. Did I mention they're great monks?
    • Poison Resistant: Racial bonus to saves vs. poison.
    • Darkvision: 60 ft. like everyone else.
    • Weapon Familiarity: Ophiduan weapons are martial for them (whatever those are.)


    Cons:

    None really; they're a solid race. Just avoid anything that relies on Cha and they're very playable.

    Verdict?

    A great addition to the psionic family. The bite attack, though limited, stays relevant throughout their career (who doesn't want to throw 4d8 at the end of a full attack routine, or during a grapple?)



    Xephs

    Spoiler
    Show


    One of my favorites, and good to have them back.

    Fluff:

    Xephs are effectively full-sized halflings. Lots of wanderlust, a need for speed, but good-natured and jokey. Their rivalry with Maenads seems to be downplayed in Pathfinder, but their unease around Elans is oddly played up.

    Buffs:

    • +2 Dex, +2 Cha, -2 Str: They're halflings all right. The cha bonus is a welcome benefit, and now Wilder suits them as much as Soulknife did if not more.
    • Wild Talent of course gives them an extra PP vs. D&D Xephs.
    • Their Burst is now a swift action to activate - a phenomenal buff. Fire it off and double move!


    Nerfs:

    They lost... the Xeph subtype? Was that even used for anything? I'm going to go ahead and put "no nerfs" here.

    Verdict?

    Xephs got the tiniest changes, but since they were all buffs it's more than okay. They definitely made it a better race to play. If you liked Xephs before, you'll absolutely love them now.
    Last edited by Psyren; 2013-02-01 at 09:12 PM.
    Alphonse Elric by Fay Graydon
    Extended Sig (Handbooks/Creations)
    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    First, please don't start threads with ideas you don't support just to see what reactions you get. That's almost the definition of trolling.

    Second, the whole "blue text" thing is not a forum rule or even a recommended procedure. If someone wants to do it in their own posts, fine, but everyone should stop telling people that they "need to" or "should have" posted in blue just because they're being sarcastic/ironic/whatever.

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    Default Re: Pathfinder Psionics vs. XPH Psionics - A Handbook

    5. The Classes (Base)

    As with core Pathfinder, the psionic classes have gotten stronger than their 3.5. versions. In addition to gaining additional class features, these features tend to scale with or otherwise be improved by class level, making PrCing out more of a trade-off.

    Psion

    Spoiler
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    The Psion you know and love is still here - the class got some nice toys to play with aside from its bonus feats (though those are still present) but there's nothing stopping you from ignoring the new toys and playing it exactly like you always have.

    But once I tell you what they are, will you be able to resist?

    Buffs

    • d6 HD: Like the Wizard, Psions are a bit sturdier now.
    • Generalist: There's a new Psion in town - one that doesn't have to specialize in a discipline. More on this guy later. (I think it needs a cooler name: "Mentat?" "Equalist?" Anyhoo.)
    • Improved skill list: All Psions have Autohypnosis now, regardless of discipline. The discipline skill lists have made a comeback as well, buffed indirectly by Pathfinder's consolidation:

      Spoiler
      Show


      Seer: Diplomacy and Perception

      Shaper: Bluff, Disguise, UMD

      Kineticist: Disable Device and Intimidate

      Egoist: Acrobatics and Heal

      Nomad: Climb, Fly, Survival, Swim

      Telepath: Bluff, Diplomacy, Sense Motive

      Generalist: UMD + Any one other of the above.


    • Detect Psionics at-will as a Psi-like Ability. I don't need to tell you how useful this is. Sadly, the new augment added to the power (namey, Psionic Identify) cannot be used with this version.
    • Discipline Talents: Psionic cantrips are (sort of) back - every Psion gets free PLAs they can use at-will that are tied to their psionic focus. You pick two for your character from a short list (Generalists pick 3). They aren't terribly powerful but at least they're free. These are listed in the spoiler:

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      These cannot be augmented. You can use them at-will as long as you maintain psionic focus. Any differences between the standard power and the talent version are noted in the parentheses.

      Seer: Call to Mind (+2 bonus only), Destiny Dissonance (1 round/2 levels), Know Direction/Location, Offensive Precognition (rounds/level).

      Shaper: Create Sound (1 round/2 levels), Crystal Shard (capped at 1d3), Ectoplasmic Creation (aka Psionic Minor Creation - only 1 hour), Entangling Ectoplasm (1 round/2 levels).

      Kineticist: Energy Ray (capped at 1d3), Far Hand, Force Screen (capped at +2), My Light (shortened to rounds/level.)

      Egoist: Hammer (capped at 1d4), Synesthete (rounds/level), Thicken Skin (rounds/level), Vigor (rounds/level)

      Nomad: Burst, Catfall (fixed at 20 ft reduction), Decelerate (-5ft only), Detect Teleportation.

      Telepath: Conceal Thoughts (self only), Mind Link, Mind Thrust (capped at 1d6), Telepathic Lash (<-Psionic Daze).

      Generalist - Choose 3 from: Call to Mind (+2 bonus), Catfall (fixed at 20 ft), Create Sound (1 round/2 levels), Far Hand, Hammer (capped at 1d4), Telepathic Lash (Daze, Psionic.)



      Note: You no longer need at least 1 PP to regain/maintain focus. This means that these talents remain useful even if you've run dry for the day. (You can also continue using psionic feats, certain items etc. while running on empty.)
    • Bonus feats: PF Psions still have them, at the same levels (1,5,10,15,20)
    • Discipline ability: These are new, and the meat of the PF Psion; these are the reason to stay in Psion as opposed to PrCing out. You get 4 of these over your psion's career, the first at 2nd-level and every 6 after that (2, 8, 14, 20.) Summaries are in the spoiler:

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      (F) = Must maintain Focus

      *F* = Must expend Focus

      For all of these, "level" refers to your psion level, not just your manifester level. Remember, these are incentives not to PrC out.

      Seer

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      - Recovered Information (F): If a target saves against any of your Clairsentience powers, you learn about one psionic/magical effect currently active on that individual. Every time they save, you learn about a different one. If there are no effects to analyze, you then learn about any magic/psionic items (but not artifacts) on their person, as though you Identified them. As you gain levels, you learn about more effects/powers with each successful save. This is especially cool because certain effects (e.g. Mind Blank) boost your save in PF rather than granting blanket immunity, so even if they save against your attack you can find that information out. It’s very hard to keep information from a dedicated Seer.

      - Alter the Waves: Starting at 8th-level, at the beginning of each day you get a free floating +3 Insight bonus you can apply to any roll (Literally any: attack, damage, saving throw, skill check, ML check, concentration check you name it) that you make during the day.

      Not only does the size of the bonus increase as you gain levels, you get more of these to assign during the day, increasing its power exponentially. (e.g. +3, then +4/+4, then +5/+5/+5 etc.) This is amazing. Note that it doesn’t specify you must add the bonus before the roll is made.

      - Seeing the Connections: 1/day, automatically learn everything about a single item, aura, ongoing spell or power (but not an artifact.) Basically, it's a one-shot free Analyze Dweomer, but without a saving throw. In addition, you can instead use this to counter-scry someone who tries to scry on you, disrupting their attempt and seeing them instead - this use does have a will save, using their same save DC. What’s really nice about this is that you can immediately tell if something is an artifact - if it’s heavily magic but you don’t get any info, you know you’ve got something special (and likely dangerous) in your hands. Though a DM who doesn’t want you to know you’re carrying the One Ring will likely fudge this somehow...

      - Perpetual Foresight *F*: Now that's what I call a capstone. Unlimited rerolls!

      ...Oh, you're waiting for a qualifier. While, this does let you reroll any d20 you want (attack rolls, saving throws, skill checks, concentration checks, ML checks etc.), it eats an immediate action, and you have to pay for the new die roll (base, thankfully, not modified roll) in power points before you can use it. For example, I roll a 9 on my save and want a do-over - I use this power and roll a 17 instead. But to actually use the 17, I need to pay 17 PP. And finally, you need to expend focus. But this is still amazing. Suck it, Diviners! (Try to keep at least 20 PP lying around for an emergency.)



      Shaper

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      - Summoner's Call (F): Boost the duration of your constructs; scales with level somewhat. Not as powerful as Extend but still useful (and stacks with it.)

      Your constructs also gain an extra menu ability of the highest level available to them, making a Shaper's constructs considerably stronger than those of other Psions. For a Shaper, a 1st-level AC is actually useful, and moreso if you Overchannel it.

      - Ectoplasmic Protection: gain concealment for rounds/level for a few times per day. Not amazing but not bad. Note that this effect isn't illusory - you are actually obscuring your position like fog or deep water would - so this can defeat some effects that bypass illusions.

      - Maestro of Ectoplasm: This has several uses, each 1/day.
      • Shapeable Ectoplasmic Sheen (grease), up to 50 sq. ft. (divisible into 10 ft. squares.)
      • Create up to 7 levels of Astral Constructs divided as you choose (e.g. one level VII, a IV and a III, seven Is, etc.)
      • Major Ectoplasmic Creation. (Major Creation, Psionic)
      • Repair an Astral Construct for 30 HP + 1HP/level. (Note: does not have to be yours.)


      The astral construct use of this is great when you get it (standard action, no aoo) but sadly doesn't scale. The others do however, and the grease in particular is useful since the DC scales automatically and it's undispellable.

      -Astral Ally: Another nice capstone -you can make any one of your Astral Constructs permanent. You can change which one is permanent at will. Personally, I’d have liked this one to be available before 20 though.



      Kineticist

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      These guys didn't make out as well as the last two.

      - Telekinetic Hurl: As written this is actually useless. You can toss objects (5 lbs. or less) at enemies at will, doing 1d4 damage each time (with some additional d4s as you gain levels.) The damage is untyped, so no throwing daggers for slashing or arrows for piercing etc. But worst of all, these are ranged attacks rather than ranged touch attacks. The ability says nothing about you getting iteratives, nor even using your manifesting stat to attack with as would make sense. So yeah, this is pretty bad as written. (Note that the 1d4 is “due to the force” so you could argue for adding the weapon damage as well if you throw one, but the ability as written says nothing about this.)

      - Kinetic Aura: You gain a deflection bonus to AC - +1 at 8th level and then slowly increasing as you gain more levels. Pretty weak, but surprisingly not focus-dependent.

      - Energetic Recharge *F*: At 14th level, expend your focus to absorb one energy attack (negating the damage) and gain 1 PP for every 5 damage absorbed. This would be fantastic if it were more than 1/day and didn’t eat an immediate action; as it is, it could still decent to have. This absorbs force (but not acid) as well as the standard 4 energy types. You cannot negate more damage than your ML*5, and you cannot convert more PP than your manifester level - any extra damage is taken normally. (e.g. If at level 14, you are hit with 80 points of cold damage, you could use this to negate 70 points and absorb 14 PP (14 * 5 = 70), taking the leftover 10 cold damage.)

      - Energy Immunity: When you gain psionic focus, you can choose one of the

      energy types (including force) to be totally immune to for as long as you want. Not a bad capstone. Interestingly, this is NOT Focus-dependent; you activate it by becoming focused, but it stays active even if you spend your focus later. This can also (thankfully) be different from your active energy type - so if you’re fighting a great wyrm red dragon for example, you can become immune to fire will still attacking him with cold powers.



      Egoist

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      - Metabolic Healing (F): Whenever you manifest a psychometabolism power on yourself, you gain Fast Healing 1. The Fast Healing scales slowly with level (up to fast healing 5 at 18) and lasts for a number of rounds = the level of the power you manifested - for instance, a Egoist 7 who manifests Metamorphosis will gain fast healing 2 for 4 rounds. This may not sound like much, but can add up, especially once you get to higher levels.

      - Shared Effect: All your personal-range psychometabolism powers gain an additional augment - for 4 more PP you can share the power with two additional creatures touched (the number of creatures you can share with scales with level.) This makes Egoists the best choice for a psionic healer or buffer in Psionics Unleashed. This is also probably as close to Team Solars as you can get in Pathfinder - you can even share 9th-level powers this way (like True Metamorphosis or Shadow Body) so long as you raise your ML enough. Note: you cannot share Fission.

      - Resilient Body: 1/day you can negate a critical hit, instead taking the damage as normal. This can save you in a bad spot, but would be better at more uses/day. Strangely (but thankfully) this does not interact with your focus like similar abilities do.

      - Infused Form: DR 5/- and constant Adapt Body (identical to the SRD version.) Not much of a capstone if you ask me, especially as Su instead of Ex. Egoist doesn’t have much to offer after 8 so this may be a good candidate for PrCing out if you don’t mind losing ML; alternatively, check some of the archetypes in PsEx/UP.



      Nomad

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      - Nomad's Step (F): Standard action teleport at-will, requires line of sight and no more than a medium load. 15 ft. + 5ft./level after that. Very nice ability, would of course have been phenomenal as a move action (never walk again!) but one can't have everything. This is the only Nomad ability that actually scales, so Nomads are PrC-friendly as well..

      - Inconstant Position: 1/day force someone who attacks you to suffer a 50% miss chance as an immediate action. This suffers from the same problem as 3.5 Dodge (i.e. one attacker only) but at least you gain some more uses as you gain levels. The nice thing about it is it should work on ranged attacks and touch attacks too - good luck to that assassin who tried to get the drop on you.

      - Accelerated Activity: 1/day, trade a swift action for a round's worth of actions, all usable in the same round. Note that “1 round worth of actions” includes all extra actions you have from other sources, e.g. Schism... and by RAW, this even includes the very swift you spent on this ability. This is one of the few "dailies" I think is worthwhile - nothing like a quick nova to burst-buff.

      - Rapid Movement: You permanently get an extra move action! How's that for a capstone? Can only be used to actually move (or stand up from prone, or mount/dismount a steed) but it's still an extra action. This means your normal one can be used to continually regain focus while you flit about



      Telepath

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      - Mental Intrusion (F): All your mind-affecting telepathy powers gain a passive augment, increasing the save DC by 1 for every 2 PP spent on any of their existing augments. For example, Catapsi normally does not have a save DC augment, but with this ability, a Telepath would make his Catapsi field harder to overcome every time he makes it larger. Most augmentable telepathy powers with a save (e.g. Attraction, Brain Lock, Disable etc.) already have this, so that’s not particularly impressive; what IS impressive though, is that powers without augments at all (e.g. Co-Opt Concentration) gain a save DC augment as well thanks to this. This is a nice ability to have, moreso because true immunity to mind-affecting is harder to find in PF, so strong save DCs are even more important.

      - Telepathy (F): As you'd expect, Telepaths now automatically gain telepathy out to 400 ft at 8th level. This slowly grows as you gain levels. But that's not all - while focused, you can tell if other individuals within 30 ft are having a telepathic conversation (but not specifically what they say.) This is a decent trick for social campaigns. The wording seems to indicate you don't need a common language to communicate/spy, but the subjects must have an Int score of 1 or higher.

      - Last Respite: This could result in some hijinks. Once you hit 14, if an attack is about to kill you via hit point damage (even if you are unconscious) you can mind switch 1/day with another creature within 30 ft, using the Su save DC rather than that of the power. Your body stays stable at -9 and you must either heal it, or find a way to transfer your mind permanently (e.g. True Mind Switch, Astral Seed) or die rounds/level later. Yes, this means you could switch with your attacker, have him patch your body up to 0, then have him stab himself/leap of a cliff and switch back. Telepaths are crazy. This is another "daily" that I think deserves the name.

      - Guarded Thoughts: You get a +10 bonus on saves vs. mind-affecting effects. This is untyped, so it actually stacks with mind blank to get you to +20 to saves, and there are more sources besides.



      Generalist

      The new kid on the block gets nice toys to play with - this is the gold standard as far as I’m concerned, by which the other disciplines can be evaluated.

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      - Bonus Feats: Generalists get four more than other Psions - they must be metapsionic, item creation, or Expanded Knowledge. You can never have enough powers nor enough feats, so this is always useful. Added to their regular allotment of bonus feats, this gives Generalist Psions a whopping total of 9 - only 2 less than a Fighter gets, and from a much better list. Very nice!

      - Breach Power Resistance *F*: Expend your focus to add your Int mod to the ML check to break through SR/PR. The bonus increases even more (adding an additional 1 at select intervals, up to +6 at 20) as you gain levels. A solid ability.

      - Double Manifest: Now here's a daily! 1/day, manifest two powers with a single action; you are still capped by your ML, so they will probably be lower level and unaugmented, but still - extremely useful. The powers must be of different disciplines and have the same manifesting time, but you can aim them at different targets. Try to aim for powers that don’t need to be augmented to scale (like Flight or Ectoplasmic Form during a buffing round) with this.

      - Expanded Mind: Fantastic capstone. Each day, pick a power, even a discipline power - you now know that power for the day. Is your party stumped at finding the Lich's phylactery? Borrow Metafaculty. Have some negative levels/a nasty curse or compulsion to remove from somebody? Borrow Psychic Chirurgery. Need some real estate for your Fortress of Solitude? Borrow Genesis. The possibilities are endless; even the mighty Erudite can't pull this one off. This almost makes you a wizard. Pity it comes online so late...






    Nerfs

    • Concentration: The same nerf that applies to every caster in Pathfinder applies to Psions - i.e. the removal of the Concentration skill. "Concentration" in Pathfinder is an ability/ML check, just as Saph's handbook describes:

      1d20 + ML + Key ability mod (Int for Psions of course.)

      This applies to almost everything that previously used concentration - from manifesting on the defensive, to manifesting while taking ongoing damage, to suppressing displays etc. Note that you do NOT need to make a check to regain your focus anymore, however - it is automatic so long as you take the necessary action (and avoid AoO.) Like wizards in Pathfinder, your best bet is to stay out of melee if you want to keep manifesting safely; powers provoke AoOs even if you suppress their displays completely.
    • Energy types: Gone is the much-touted psion advantage of choosing energy types on the fly. Instead, you choose your "Active Energy Type" whenever you gain psionic focus, and that is used for all your energy powers until you regain your focus again to change it. Kineticists, however, get to choose their energy type on the fly just like 3.5. psions normally could. Wilders can change it temporarily during a wild surge (e.g. a Wilder's chosen type is "cold" but they can change it to "electricity" during a wild surge, and it will revert back to "cold" automatically when the surge ends without them having to refocus first.)


    Verdict?

    Psions have unequivocally gotten better, as the above sets of abilities are all in addition to their standard bonus feats, 36 powers known, 343 base PP etc. How much better is up to debate but ultimately not relevant. Everything that made them T2 is still here, plus more besides; they can definitely still mop the floor with anything in T3 and have juice left over. If you liked Psions before, you still will, and the addition of the Generalist feels like a whole new class.

    At a high-level glance, it looks like the Seer, Shaper, and Generalist have the most reason to want to stay in Psion to 20, while the Kineticist and Egoist probably want to PrC out or multiclass. The Nomad and Telepath can go either way. Future archetypes may change this however.



    Psychic Warrior

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    Overview:

    If you were worried that a lot would change here, don't be. the Psywar you are familiar with - 3/4 BAB, d8 HD, martial prowess, bonus feats - is still here. And with good reason; Psywars were in a very sweet spot in 3.5, combining the sturdiness of a martial chassis with the accessibility of psionics, for an appealing "canned-gish" package.

    What Pathfinder added was some much-needed customization; Psychic Warriors in 3.5. tended to fit a mold, with only a handful of builds between them. In Pathfinder, Psywars choose a "Path" which focuses their martial studies and grants them benefits based on their PW level. This lets you flavor your Psywar a bit differently from those around you; One Psywar could be an intensely disciplined blademaster, while one could be a nearly feral wild-child who tears into enemies with natural weapons, while still another could be a sneaky hunter/assassin type. These Paths function similarly to the Psion disciplines, giving your Psywar access to new powers (which they automatically learn, so even powers that are already on the Pswar list can be useful), and expanded skill sets. (One skill in each path is not a Psywar skill, but becomes a path skill when you select that path - I’ll bold these below.) Later in your career, you choose a second path, allowing you to customize further by blending styles.

    The Path Powers carry several benefits. For one, these powers are in addition to your normal allotment of powers known - in other words, PF Psywars have more powers known than 3.5 ones (before even counting the extra feats.) Your ML is also considered 1 higher for these powers. Finally, you can manifest them free of charge by expending psionic focus, though if you manifest them this way you cannot augment them. Finally, you gain an ability called Martial Power that interacts with them - I’ll describe that in more detail below.

    However, the main benefits of the Paths are new uses for your psionic focus: Maneuvers and Trances. Simply put, a Trance is an ability you gain as long as you maintain your Psionic Focus, while a Maneuver is a one-shot effect or attack you can activate by expending. Naturally, this makes Psicrystals even more important for Psywars than ever - carrying an extra focus in your pocket means you can use a Maneuver while a Trance is active, or use two Maneuvers back-to-back etc.It also gives your Psywar neat abilities s/he can use without going through their limited PP, or even after it’s empty. (Recall that you can gain focus even with no PP in Pathfinder.) So in the end, PF Psywars are focused around manipulating your focus to a much greater degree than they ever did in 3.5, and this concept grows even more complex when you factor in feats like Psionic Weapon or Deep Impact. Luckily, they are Wis-focused, so Psionic Meditation and other focus-related feats should be easy to qualify for.

    A summary of the Paths, and their associated Trances/Maneuvers follows:

    Paths (Detail)

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    - All bonus described below scale with Psywar level unless otherwise noted.

    - All Trances are (F) focus-dependent.

    - All Maneuvers require *F* expending focus.

    Ascetic Path: For the monk-ish (read: less armored) Psywar; primarily defensive.

    Ascetic Path Skills: Acrobatics, Autohypnosis, Know (Religion)

    Ascetic Path Powers: Defensive and Offensive Precognition

    Ascetic Trance: You gain a competence bonus to AC while in light or no armor.

    Ascetic Maneuver: You gain a dodge bonus to AC as an immediate action. If you activate this in response to an attack and that attack misses, you also get a free 5-foot step.

    Assassin's Path: For the sneaky/damage-focused Psywar.

    Assassin's Path Skills: Acrobatics, Perception, Stealth

    Assassin's Path Powers: Distract, and your choice of Prevenom/Prevenom Weapon.

    Assassin’s Trance: You gain a competence bonus to damage rolls. Useful if your team has no bard.

    Assassin’s Maneuver: as long as no other enemies are beside you, you gain a sneak-attackish precision damage boost to one attack per use.

    Brawling Path: For the rough-and-tumble Psywar.

    Brawling Path Skills: Acrobatics, Autohypnosis, Escape Artist

    Brawling Path Powers: Grip of Iron, Hammer

    Brawling Trance: With every successful grapple check, you can deal your Wis mod in damage to the target of your grapple. This does not scale with level (though it does scale with your Wis mod of course, making it handy for multiclass Psywars.) The way this is worded suggests that you can deal the damage even with grapple checks used to do something else, e.g. moving your target or pinning them.

    Brawling Maneuver: Deal large amounts of nonlethal damage to a target you're grappling. (Sleeper hold?) This one does scale, and quickly too.

    Feral Warrior Path: For the beastial Psywar.

    Feral Warrior Skills: Acrobatics, Perception, Survival

    Feral Warrior Powers: Bite of the Wolf, Claws of the Beast

    Trance: You gain a competence bonus on all attack rolls made with natural weapons. Stack them up!

    Maneuver: Very good; get an extra attack when you charge, though each attack takes a penalty, and you get a bonus on each damage roll. At level 20, you gain Pounce (charge + full attack) - pity it comes so late.

    Mind Knight Path: For the itinerant Psywar. This Path focuses around being a self-sufficient/lone warrior of sorts.

    Mind Knight Skills: Autohypnosis, Diplomacy, Ride

    Mind Knight Powers: Call Weaponry (natch), Inertial Armor

    Trance: You get a competence bonus to initiative, as well as attack and damage rolls if you're using a called weapon. (as with Call Weaponry/Soulbound Weapon).

    Maneuver: Attack multiple adjacent enemies as a standard action, more targets as you gain levels.

    Weaponmaster Path: For the martial Psywar.

    Weaponmaster Skills: Acrobatics, Craft, Know (Nobility) (seriously?)

    Weaponmaster Powers: Empty Mind, Metaphysical Weapon

    Trance: You get a bonus to attack rolls while wielding a manufactured weapon.

    Maneuver: Similar to the Ascetic Path, you can take a 5-foot step when you're attacked; however, you can use this even if the attack does not miss, and rather than increase your AC it gives you an immediate counterattack to the enemy's strike. Your counterattack grows slightly more accurate/damaging as you gain levels.



    With the Path stuff out of the way, now I'll focus on what all Psywars get regardless of Path chosen.

    General PW Buffs

    • Psionic Proficiency: For the purpose of qualifying for psionic feats, Psywars can use their PW level in place of their BAB. This unfortunately does NOT apply to fighter feats too, but is plenty good even without that. Now you don't have to wait as long to qualify for feats like Fell Shot/Deep Impact as you did in 3.5.
    • 3) Psywars get an ability at 6th level called Martial Power, which lets them manifest a Path Power during an attack action. Touch powers (like Hammer) are delivered through the attack itself; all others take effect immediately after the attack is finished. This is their version of the Duskblade's channel, though the list of usable powers is much smaller, but it includes defensive and utility powers as well (see below.)
    • Various Path-based abilities

      Path Skill: Psywars gain an untyped bonus that they can apply to one of their three path skills. As this bonus scales, you can divide it up among the three skills, or focus on one.

      - Secondary Path: As I mentioned above, you gain a second Path at mid-levels. This initially just grants one of the powers and the skills of that Path; later you learn its Trance and Maneuver as well. Initially, you can only benefit from one Trance at a time, and can only use the Maneuver associated with your active Trance.

      - Twisting Path: While maintaining focus, you can switch between the Trances of your two Paths as a swift action.

      - Pathweaving: You can gain the benefits of both Trances simultaneously 1/day for 5 minutes, then later 2/day.
    • Eternal Warrior - The level 20 capstone is a doozy, though rather short on juice. You gain a special Trance (read: must maintain focus) that lets you add Wis to damn near everything; attack, damage, AC, skill checks, saves, initiative, even movement speed (5ft. X Wis bonus). Pity it only lasts 5 minutes. Activating this is a free(!) action. It also stacks with your normal Trance (or Trances, if Pathweaving); this can get your Wis mod counted twice for some things.
    • Bonus Feats - They get the same number as a regular Psywar, at the same levels. Base feats have been increased though (as normal for Pathfinder) giving you lots of options overall.
    • An extra PP - Amusingly, Pathfinder Psywars get one extra base PP at each level over their WotC counterparts; their table thus no longer starts at zero, and therefore a Psywar with 11-13 Wis can actually manifest. (You still get bonus PP from Wis of course.)
    • Skill Improvement/Consolidation - Psywar skill points have been doubled (4+Int). In addition, Pathfinder's skill compressions have benefited Psywars considerably, as they now gain access to gems like Tumble, Listen and Spot - all without losing any skills they intially had.


    General tips:

    • Be careful which paths you combine - Mind Knight and Assassin make poor bedfellows as you'd expect, as one wants to be surrounded (honorable) while the other wants to be off on the fringes by himself, flanking (dishonorable.) Similarly, Feral Warrior wants natural weapons and Weaponmaster wants manufactured.
    • You have more feats now, so get a Psicrystal, Psionic Meditation and Psicrystal Containment asap. You have even more reason to make use of them. (Honestly they should have gotten one for free, but one can't have everything.)
    • Play to your Path's strengths. Brawlers want to be grappling, Mind Knights want to be tripping, Assassins want to be tumbling around the battlefield to flank, etc.
    • All of the above are in addition to your regular powers, so you can still play your Psywar as you did normally


    Verdict?

    Pretty clear buffs for the Psywar all around. I don't think they've lost a thing, save the normal Concentration, Metamorphosis and Energy type nerfs. They are not as strongly affected by these however - many Psywar powers are swift actions (which do not provoke AoOs) and Martial Power does not provoke AoOs eiither. They also don't have many elemental or damage powers. The two wishes I have for the class is that they could apply Psionic Proficiency to Combat feats as well as Psionic ones, and that the capstone lasted longer (say, letting us spend PP every minute after 5 to keep it going or something). But all in all, very solid and definitely stronger than the regular Psywar. Not quite T2 but definitely high T3.


    Soulknife

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    Overview:

    For the other two classes I opened with something like "It's still the class you're used to" but I definitely can't say that about the Soulknife. (This is of course a good thing, given what we had before.) The lethal, flavorful, brutally efficient, and unquestionably psionic class we have before us can't possibly be a Soulknife, and yet it most certainly is. Without further ado; the changes.

    Let's start with the chassis.

    • Full BAB: And it's about time, too.
    • Medium Armor Proficiency: Anything that makes Soulknives sturdier is a good thing.
    • New skills: Intimidate and Swim have joined the party; of course, the Pathfinder sill consolidation has smiled favorably on Soulknives like it has everyone else (their mainstays of Jump and Tumble are here as Acrobatics, Spot and Listen as Perception, H&MS as Stealth etc.)
    • Bonus Feat: Instead of being stuck with the middlingly useful Weapon Focus (Mind Blade), Soulknives can choose between that, Power Attack and TWF at first level. (Ideally, your choice should correspond with the primary shape you want your mind-blade to have - more on this later.) TWF being much more useful in Pathfinder in general, this choice is more meaningful than it may seem.
    • Wild Talent: This feat serves the same purpose it did in D&D, i.e. making Soulknives count as psionic. If you become or already are psionic through some other means (e.g. race, or multiclassing), this automatically converts to Psionic Talent instead.


    Now let's talk about the Soulknife's signature ability - the mind blade itself. Given that this one ability is the Soulknife's raison d'ętre, it stands to reason that it got a much-needed overhaul; I'll explore this in further detail.

    • Form Mind Blade: Talk about ground-up design; The very ability to create your mind blade was improved. You can now choose you mind blade's shape as early as first-level. Rather than pattern it off an existing weapon, what you choose instead are the stats it will have, as follows.

      First, you choose a shape:

      - Light (1d6) <-- you can form two of these, letting you dual-wield at 1st-level.

      - 1-handed (1d8)

      - 2-handed (2d6)

      (Note: these are all assuming a Medium Soulknife. Adjust damage as necessary for different-sized soulknives, or for abilities like Powerful Build.)

      You then choose the damage type.(Your mind blade doesn't actually have to be a blade at all:)

      - Slashing

      - Piercing

      - Bludgeoning

      Regardless of form, Mind Blades crit on 19-20/x2.

      So now you can form a Psychic Hammer, or a pair of Mindspikes, or whatever your character concept can conceive of. The blade truly is an extension of your own mind. The visual shape of your mind blade is purely fluff based and is up to the character; however, the shape must reflect the damage type in some way (e.g. a "slashing" mind blade would have a sharp edge on it, while a "bludgeoning" one would look blunt.)

      Once you choose the parameters of your mind blade, it will form that way every time you bring it out; you can use a full-round action to change it, at which point it will come out the new way every time until you manually change it once again. This is a vast improvement over the WotC Soulknife, whose mind blade always came out as the weakling d6 shortsword form no matter what level you were, and then had to be changed to the form you really wanted (longsword, bastard sword or dual-wield) as a full-round action. WotC Soulknives would thus typically waste the first round of combat even if they had Free Draw.

      The blade's other characteristics (hardness, hp, suitability with weapon-based feats) are unchanged.
    • Enhancement Bonus: There's a lot of significant overhauls to cover here, so bear with me.

      If you've read Dreamscarred's last Soulknife, this change should look familiar. The enhancement bonus for the mind blade has changed to one linear track, instead of two separate ones like the WotC Soulknife. In other words: before, your mind blade got an enhancement bonus as well as an enhancement "pool" that you could spend on various properties. Now, the mind blade's enhancement bonus IS the pool. For example, if at level 6 I have a +2 mind blade, I can stick with that bonus, or lower it to +1 and add the "flaming" property for some fire damage. In 3.5, at level 6 I’d have been stuck with a +1 flaming mind blade.

      In addtion to the above, the enhancements were also accelerated a step, e.g. getting you to a +1 blade at 3 instead of 4. Depending on the kinds of encounters your DM throws at you and when, this could be a huge boon. (Nobody wants to run into a shadow with only a masterwork weapon.) However, this is not to say that you can forego any properties at all and land yourself a +6 (epic) weapon at level 13. Rather - at any given level, there is a cap on how much of your enhancement pool can be used for the enhancement bonus; anything above that cap must be used for magical properties instead, though you can combine any number of properties whose combined bonus value stays within that cap.

      For example, at level 11 I have a +5 mind blade; however, at the same level my enhancement cap is only +3. So my mind blade is +3, and the remaining +2 must be used for properties - I can choose two +1 properties (e.g. keen and flaming) or one +2 property (e.g. icy burst.) I can't actually have a +5 mind blade until 15.

      If you still have trouble grasping this system, check out my Soulknife Handbook, or just read the DSP Soulknife I linked - that's where they lifted it from. What it gives you is greater flexibility around the strength of your blade. Whereas a WotC Soulknife at 12 would be forced into having a +3 blade with +2 worth of properties, a PF Soulknife at the same level can choose to have a +1 blade with +4 of properties if he wishes. This means that if you’re having no trouble hitting enemies, or have an enhancement bonus to attack from some other source, swapping some of that into properties will result in more damage per round.

      As with the WotC Soulknife, splitting my blade in two means I get an enhancement bonus of 1 lower than my maximum on each of the component blades.

      One last use for the enhancement bonus system - the enhancement bonus represents your increased connection with your mind blade. Mechanically, this is represented by a bonus to the will save to maintain your mind blade in a NPF/AMF equal to its current enhancement bonus. However, even if you succeed, the blade is downgraded to simply being masterwork quality (like any other magic weapon in an AMF.)
    • Prestige Classes: Another boon lifted from DSP's previous Soulknife relates to PrCs - any PrC that advances "+1 level of existing manifesting class" will also progress your mind blade's enhancement (but no other soulknife class features e.g. psychic strike and blade skills.) This means a Soulknife can now PrC into, say, Elocater (with an appropriate dip) and continue to get a stronger mind blade even as she reaps the benfits of its increased mobility. Or PrC into Meditant and enjoy the various stat boosts while enhacing her blade. This goes a long way towards making Soulknives mesh more with the other psionic classes, rather than feeling tacked-on.

      But it gets better - there is an alternate rule in PsU for high-psionics campaigns that allows multiclass Soulknives to "double-dip" from all such PrCs. In other words, if you have levels in a manifesting class + levels in Soulknife and enter a PrC that advances manifesting, that PrC will advance both your powers and your mind blade. This means that every psionic PrC has the potential to be a Soulknife "theurge." However, while I would have welcomed a rule like this for the WotC Soulknife, I think it's too strong for most campaigns unless you're a Lurk, Divine Mind or some other low-power manifester. (The rule goes a long way toward improving those classes though.)
    • Psychic Strike: The soulknife's signature damage technique has gotten some nice buffs in Pathfinder. To summarize:

      - Charging your Psychic Strike works just like it did in 3.5 (i.e. a move action.) However, a Soulknife can also charge her mind blade as a swift action by expending psionic focus.

      - When dual-wielding, you can charge each blade with a psychic strike, spending the necessary number of actions to do so, and discharge them both on the same target. If you reshape your mind blade to a single weapon while both are charged, the single weapon will only have one charge however (the other one is lost.)

      - Psychic Strike now goes off only when you want it to, not on the first eligible target you strike.

      - Psychic Strike can now be used on any creature with a mind (read: Int score) even if they are immune to mind-affecting effects, e.g. a vampire, lich or other sentient undead.
    • Throw Mind Blade: You now get this a level earlier. Enjoy! The range increment has been shortened though. (And it gets shortened further if your blade is larger than light; you can overcome this limitation with the appropriate blade skills however.)


    Speaking of Blade Skills, I should probably discuss those. These are the meat of the new soulknife, the real reason for staying in the class until 20. Blade skills allow you to customize your Soulknife to great degrees, and are involved enough to deserve their own section.

    • Blade Skills These are what turn your Soulknife from a thug with a glowing sword, into a Jedi.

      Overview: A Blade Skill is a special technique, shape or property a Soulknife can apply to her mind blade. They take advantage of the blade's inherently mutable nature, letting you do things with it that are not possible with more conventional weapons. These are also where you'll find the other Soulknife abilities you remember, such as Knife to the Soul and Bladewind. There are a lot of them, so for more detail I refer you to my PF Soulknife Handbook.

      And last but not least, the capstone:
    • Mind Blade Mastery: Your connection to your mind blade is complete. Your blade is never suppressed by AMF/NPFs (though it still reverts to masterwork in such situations). You can also totally reconfigure your blade as a full-round action - enhancement bonus, properties, damage type, and shape, just as if you had rested for 8 hours; doing so also resets any penalties it accrued via Fluid Form. A flavorful capstone; how powerful it is depends on your campaign though. (i.e. if you're in a campaign where dead magic zones are uncommon and you're not up against a wide variety of enemies, this ability is less useful; you'll likely be using one primary setup for your blade and you won't have to worry about making will saves to keep it readied.) Still, it's light-years better than the regular soulknife's capstone. Honestly though, if you’re in a high-powered campaign (i.e. most PF games that approach 20) you may be better off with the new rule that lets you advance Soulknife and a manifesting class at the same time.


    Verdict?

    The new Soulknife has a niche that the old one never did; it is both damaging and durable enough to be a much more capable striker than before. By emphasizing dual-wielding and throwing, it plays to its strengths (i.e. zero-cost scaling weaponry and mobility) while simultaneously downplaying its weaknesses (low fort save and AC.) I would put them at high T4 now; for all their buffs and psionic flavor, hitting things increasingly harder is still all they're really designed for. The difference is that now they're actually good at it. They'll shine if that is what a party needs, but haven't gained much in the way of utility or versatility. Use Psionic Device as a class skill would have helped a lot, and fit them flavorfully as well.

    Their best function in my eyes, is a way for psionics-wary DMs and players to wet their feet in the system. They can gain and expend focus, they can take psionic feats, and they can benefit from psionic PrCs. (Though for most they will need a dip or multiclass.) They have what they need to take on, and be threatened by, psionic monsters. Their blades can have psionic enhancements like Mindcrusher and Psychokinetic. And for all their new toys, they're still easy to pick up and play. You should have little trouble convincing your DM to allow one of these in a Pathfinder game, even if they remain uncertain of the other classes.
    Last edited by Psyren; 2013-02-13 at 05:21 PM.
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    First, please don't start threads with ideas you don't support just to see what reactions you get. That's almost the definition of trolling.

    Second, the whole "blue text" thing is not a forum rule or even a recommended procedure. If someone wants to do it in their own posts, fine, but everyone should stop telling people that they "need to" or "should have" posted in blue just because they're being sarcastic/ironic/whatever.

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    Default Re: Pathfinder Psionics vs. XPH Psionics - A Handbook

    5. The Classes Continued (Wilder + PrCs)

    Wilder

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    Overview:

    This might sound weird, but the Wilder is actually the class I feel changed the most, and yet changed the least at the same time. I say least because it’s the one that will probably play closest to its 3.5 counterpart; however, even with the same playstyle of going nova with a smaller list than the other manifesters get, there’s a lot more new toys here to play with the that give it a significant and much-needed edge. However, I think it's worth noting that the largest buff to the class (at least, the largest one I perceive) didn't actually come from its class features. You'll see what I mean below.

    Let's start with the chassis. All Wilders now have:

    • d8 HD: Like Psions, Wilders are a bit sturdier in PF.
    • New Skills: Here is where the PF Wilder shines. Two extremely useful Cha-based skills have been given to the Wilder - Diplomacy, and UMD(!!!) This means two things:
      • Wilders are now the perfect party face, being totally Cha-focused and having all three persuasion skills in-class.
      • You can (if your campaign/wealth allows) liberally use magic and psionic items to cover for your weak powers known.
    • Proficiencies, Skills, PP and PK: As the XPH Wilder.


    So far so good. Now, how about the class features? First, the returning champions.

    Old stuff:
    • Wild Surge: The signature Wilder technique is back, and the core ability is mostly unchanged. You still get emotional to boost your powers, it still pays for your augments free of charge, and you still unlock higher surges (up to +6) at the same rate. However, there have been some major adjustments, many of which you will be familiar with if you've been reading the DSP Wilder; I'll summarize these below.
      • You can no longer choose how much (or how little) you surge; you always surge for the maximum possible. (This makes more sense to me, as WS is about letting your emotions run wild - being able to finely control that process is counterintuitive. It’s like getting “slightly euphoric” or “somewhat hysterical.”)
      • Conversely, Psychic Enervation is now a flat 15% chance. (With some exceptions as you'll see later.) This means it is worse than 3.5 below at WS 1 and 2, equal at WS 3, and better at 4-6. I'm a fan of both greater predictability in my dicerolling, as well as higher levels of something being better than lower levels, so this is a welcome change for me.
      • This trick is totally new - you can now expend your psionic focus to manifest a power free of charge, paying for it entirely out of your Wild Surge energy; its base cost is considered paid, then as many augmentation points as your WS can cover are added on top of that (if doing so would do anything.). However, manifesting this way bumps up your enervation chance to 30%, and you can only do this once every 10 minutes. Still, this is a great way to get that one last power out (e.g. escape, or a finishing blow) when you run dry and things are going south.
      • Finally, there are different types of Surge, of which you choose one at first level. This choice determines the type of Wilder you'll be (more on this later.)
        Example:
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        My 7th-level Wilder is out of power points but needs to reveal an invisible assailant for the party fighter. She expends her focus to manifest Eradicate Invisibility. When the power goes off, its base cost of 5 PP is considered paid. In addition, I'm level 7, which means I have a Wild Surge of +3; my EI is thus treated as though I spent 3 PP augmenting it, raising the radius of my burst from 50 ft. to 65 ft.; this also boosts the reflex save DC by +1.

        Drawbacks aside, if you're out of PP and/or in a pinch there is little reason not to give this a shot; it's a great panic button for Wilders to have. Note: there is no limit to the power level this can be used on, so you can even fire off a free Wish (Reality Revision) in a dire enough situation. Furthermore, just as in 3.5., Psychic Enervation occurs after a power goes off, so in an emergency you can still have the effect you were hoping for, even if you enervate afterward.


      Exactly what happens when you enervate is slightly different as well, but we'll cover that shortly.

    • Elude Attack: Here is the 'fixed' form of Elude Touch; instead of a wonky ability that made you better at dodging the more armor you piled on (wait, what?), you now just get a plain dodge bonus to AC that slowly scales with level. More AC is always good (especially touch AC), and dodge bonuses not only stack, they apply to CMD as well. I confess though - I wish this was still tied to your Charisma score in some way.
    • Surging Euphoria: Unchanged, though now that you have more reason to stay in Wilder all the way you might even get to +3. If you have a bard or certain spells this won’t be nearly as useful though.


    That covers the updates to old stuff. So what did Wilders get that's new? (and what happened to Volatile Mind?) I'll answer these questions in the next section.

    New Stuff:[*] Surge Blast *F*: This ability gives wilders a ghetto Eldritch Blast-ish ability; expend your focus and you can fire off a ray that deals damage according to the level of Wild Surge you've attained (d6/WS value, max of 6d6 pre-epic.)
    ...Okay, so that's pretty weak (even Warlocks can do more damage in a round, and don't need to burn actions refocusing between shots either) but as far as a fallback for when you've used up all your PP and your free 10-minute manifestation, it does beat pulling out the crossbow... at least I think it does. It has other advantages too:

    - It's supernatural, so you can bypass SR/PR and immunities. It also does not provoke AoOs.
    - Corollary to the above: no components (somatic or otherwise) so you can fire it off in full plate or while tied up. It also has no associated display to suppress, though the ray itself (or its effects) can most likely give away your position.
    - It deals force damage, meaning you can ghostbust, smash doors and chests etc.

    • Surge Types: As I mentioned above, at first level you have to choose your type of surge. Unlike D&D, all Wilders are not created equal - some emphasize different emotional states, and those change the nature of their Wild Surge. This choice also changes the nature of your Psychic Enervation's drawback. Before I discuss these in detail though, I'll cover one more new addition:
    • Surge Bond: In addition to the benefits of the surge itself and Surging Euphoria, each type of Wilder gets unique benefits tied to their choice of Surge. (These benefits are not necessarily dependent on the Wilder actually surging in oder to be active, however.) As the Wilder gains levels,, the surge bond bestows additional benefits. In each Surge Type's entry, I'll also summarize what the Surge Bond gives you.

      Surge Types:
      Spoiler
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      Note: For Enervation, "Base ML" = ML PRIOR to Surging. As I said above, Enervation is a base 15% chance, unless otherwise stated.

      • Artificer's Surge: In a nutshell, you can apply your surge to items that contain powers (Stones, Dorjes etc.) Doing so forces the item to make a fort save or (a) lose an extra charge/use (if it uses such) or (b) be suppressed for 24 hours. This use of Wild Surge incurs a 30% enervation chance (similar to free-surging) You can also surge your powers normally rather than using it with items/zero PP, suffering only the regular 15% chance.
        - Enervation: Dazed until the end of your next turn; lose PP = base ML.
        - Surge Bond: You get a free Item Creation feat.
        - Improved Surge Bond: More free Item Creation feats.
        - Verdict: This is great. Bonus feats are nice, especially when they offset the Wilder's weaknesses. (Use Psychic Reformation to swap in more situational powers, craft a bunch of items that use them, and re-reform to your desired layout, for instance.) Furthermore, the ability to surge from items makes various psionic equipment quite deadly in an AW's hands. The enervation is painful - actions are life for a caster - but this is definitely still one of the stronger options.
        An ability or feat to craft items via UMD (similar to the Artificer or Warlock) would have fit this guy like a glove, but you can still craft plenty on your own since you have a power list.
      • Free Surge: This is the standard Wilder, complete with Volatile Mind mk II. But even with Volatile Mind getting overhauled, this Wilder isn't quite as good as some of the others like Artificer and Student. Still, if there was some 3.5 material you wanted to use with the PF Wilder, this is the most compatible one.
        - Enervation: Dazed until the end of your next turn; lose PP = base ML.
        - Surge Bond: Free Psionic Talent. Useful at first level (especially with a psionic race), but less so for the Wilder than the other classes, and does not scale well at all.
        - Improved Surge Bond: Volatile Mind - As I said, this got upgraded. Instead of telepathy powers (and only powers, i.e. no transparency!) costing slightly more against you, you instead get a bonus to your save vs. telepathy/enchantment effects. At very high levels, you even get an extra will save against such effects. (i.e. if the spell/power doesn't have a save, it gets one; if it does have a save, it gets a second one.) A massive improvement, but a tad limited in scope; imo, it should apply to clairsentience as well.
        - Verdict: This is as vanilla as it gets. If you want a Wilder that is virtually identical to its WotC form, but with some buffs, look no further. Unfortunately, this Wilder is actually one of the weakest surge types overall, and doesn't have anything to recommend it over the others besides nostalgia. Volatile Mind - while not being quite as poor as it was before - is still a rather situational ability compared to the more universally appealing surge bonds of other Wilders.
      • Leader's Surge: The Leader Wilder makes your Wilder even more bardic; When this Wilder Surges, the party gets some decent buffs. And of course, you can still go all the way up to 9ths. Sublime Chord anyone?
        - Enervation: Shaken for rounds = WS value, lose PP = Base ML.
        (Note: If you enervate again, the fear will not keep stacking past shaken.) Watch out - every ally within your aura must make a will save or be affected by your fear as well, and the will save is actually harder as your wilder gets stronger. Boo!
        - Surge Bond: You get Surging Aura (new feat) as a bonus feat. Surging Aura puts a 10' radius aura around you - for every +1 bonus to your wild surge, you can designate one ally within that aura to gain an insight bonus to attack = the value of that surge. For example: At level 1, my Leader Wilder can designate an ally within 10' to get an insight bonus to attack rolls. At level 3 (WS +2), I can designate two allies within 10 ft. to each gain a +2 insight bonus.
        - Improved Surge Bond: Although any Wilder can take Surging Aura, the Leader Wilder is by far the most effective at using it. Your Improved Surge Bond causes your aura to periodically increase in radius by 5', out to 30' pre-epic. In addition, you can share your Surging Euphoria with any allies in the aura as well.These two effects stack (Surging Euphoria is a morale bonus) resulting in nice bonuses for a psionic party. Given that Psywars are good at getting competence bonuses as well, you could end up with big boosts once all the stacking is compiled..
        - Verdict: Want a more bardic, supportive Wilder? The Leader Wilder is for you. Its enervation has a strong upside - being shaken, while still sucking, doesn't lose you any actions, and the party can get immune to it pretty easily - but having the chance to nerf your allies with it before that immunity is available can be a pain. Worse, even allies that weren't benefiting from the Aura must make the save. If it weren't for that drawback I might have made this guy blue, but it's still worth a shot - certainly it's stronger than the Free Wilder. I envision Leader Wilders being capable summoners, able to power up their Astral Constructs both with their surges and with their auras; and of course being constructs they are immune to fear (thus suffering no negative effects if you yourself enervate, though they’d also be denied access to your Euphoria.)
      • Student's Surge: If you liked Educated Wilder, rejoice - this ACF is now available baseline, fluff included. The additional powers (through EK) are included in the Surge Bond.
        - Enervation: Dazzled for rounds = WS value, lose PP = base ML. This Dazzled condition actually stacks if you enervate again before the first one fades, but it’s still a joke of a drawback (you never actually go blind), so go nuts!
        - Surge Bond: You get a free Psicrystal. Fantastic!
        - Improved Surge Bond: As I said, this is basically Educated Wilder. Expanded Knowledge at periodic levels.
        - Verdict: Not much else to say about this - it's hands-down the best Wilder from a pure power standpoint. Dazzled isn't much of a penalty even if it stacks up, and furthermore does not cost you precious actions. Best of all: you get more powers - not to mention a free psicrystal - giving you a ton more options. This is the Wilder’s gold standard, by which all others are judged. I daresay that taking this brings you close to the psion's level of power, and even exceeds it in some areas.
      • Warrior's Surge: For the more combat-oriented Wilder. Wilders still make capable gishes, but sadly you'll still need a dip, feat or racial proficiencies if you want the martial accessories to go with your 3/4 BAB. (Of course, there are more feats in Pathfinder, so this is perfectly viable.) Don’t let the name mislead you though; this Wilder functions perfectly fine as an ordinary caster.
        - Enervation: Staggered until end of next turn; lose HP = base ML. (Can be dangerous, but in a pinch you can expend your focus to lose PP as normal instead of HP.)
        - Surge Bond: You get Toughness. It's better in Pathfinder, but I still question its worth as a feat, and there aren't nearly as many psionic PrCs that want it as there are non-psionic ones.
        - Improved Surge Bond: You get an ability called Hardened Body that gives you temp HP when you surge, that last for the duration of your Surging Euphoria (max 20).
        - Verdict: Okay, so in the initial version of this guide I hated this flavor of Wilder, following the reasoning that Staggered is a very bad condition for a PC to have. Since then I've talked to some folks on the DSP board about it, and they opened my eyes, and I’m now a lot more appreciative. In a nutshell, this Wilder may have the easiest-to-handle enervation costs of all types. Here’s the rundown:
        - When you enervate, you lose hit points. Sounds terrible, right? But in most cases, PP are more valuable (the only hit point that really matters is your last one, after all - and 1 PP in Pathfinder is at least equal to 3 HP, if not 5, 6 or 10.) Warrior Wilders are the only ones to lose no PP at all when they enervate. And though they lose health instead, they can afford to; they only have a 15% chance to lose health, but thanks to Hardened Body, they have a 100% chance to get free HP. And at most points in their career, Hardened Body makes up for the HP loss. (1-4: no HB, lose 1-4 HP. level 5, gain 5 HP, lose 5 when surging, net loss 0. 6-8, gain 5, lose 6-8, net loss 1-3. level 9, gain 10 HP, lose 9, net +1. level 10, gain 10 HP, lose 10 HP, net 0. etc.) Since they are temp HP rather than bonus HP, you actually lose them first, meaning you won’t lose more HP when Surging Euphoria ends. And in an emergency, you can still choose to lose PP instead if you expend your focus.
        - Staggered is normally seen as a bad condition (certainly worse than Dazzled.) However, it IS better than Dazed - with only a Standard, you can still manifest a power every turn even if you can’t move. So long as you’re not trying to go anywhere, regain your focus etc., you actually suffer no drawback at all.

        What this ultimately boils down to is that Warrior Wilders can surge on every single power, all day long, with minimal repercussions - and have a lot more stamina than other Wilders since they don’t randomly lose PP 15-30% of the time. Just make sure the party keeps you patched up if you enervate too often (or UMD a cure light wounds wand yourself between encounters) and you’ll be fine.


      So, to summarize - there are about three good Wilders in PsU, one okay one, and the (rather weak) standard one. Your opinions may differ from mine though; feel free to chime in with any analysis I may have missed.

      The last new toy Wilders get is a shiny new capstone:
    • Perfect Surge: If you read the DSP Wilder, this should look familiar too. This capstone lets you go totally Dragonball Z on your foes 1/day with a Wild Surge "TO THE EXTREME!!!" The benefits are:

      - +10 Manifester Level: 30 ML (before items) can crack level-appropriate SR like an eggshell.
      - +3 to save DC and attack rolls (if applicable). This is before any bonuses from augmenting the power itself, i.e. the save DC could be even higher if it’s a power that lets you do that. Ouch!
      - The power is treated as 5 levels higher (this affects its interaction with effects like Globe of Invulnerability and Affinity Field, and is one of the few ways to truly “heighten” psionics.)
      - You shed light as though a Daylight spell was cast on you. This cannot be suppressed. (“HAAAAAAAAAAA!!!”)
      - Anyone who makes physical contact with you before your next turn takes 1d4 fire damage. Obviously this won't be very noticeable at level 20, but is an interesting effect. (Note: it affects allies as well, so fair warning; nobody wants to be singed while trying to heal or buff you, and don’t keep a wounded psicrystal in your pocket.)

      The drawbacks, however, are pretty steep.

      - 1/day, so make it count (i.e. you probably don't want to use this on a mook.)
      - Your displays double in size/intensity, and cannot be suppressed for the duration. Well, it's not as though Wilders were known for their subtlety anyway. Just make sure your party protects you while you wear your giant neon sign that says "CASTER!"
      - You have a 100% chance to enervate, suffering any negative effects (dazed, staggered etc.) as appropriate.
      - Unlike normal enervation, this one uses your increased ML in the PP/HP loss calculation (HP for Warrior Wilders). In other words, you lose ML+10 PP or HP. As written, this includes all increases to your ML, including from items and temporary boosts. Watch out, especially Warriors!
      - The worst drawback of all: a whopping 2 points of ability burn to every score. Ability Burn is unchanged from WotC's version, i.e. cannot be magically healed. Hopefully your alpha strike carbonized the BBEG/roomful of foes and it won't matter, otherwise things could get dicey - ability burn during a fight is no fun.

      So in summary - a very powerful ability. Use this when you absolutely need to one-shot something, or punch through high SR/saves, but otherwise I would stick to regular surging. Even laying down a massive buff with this might not be worth it, given the havoc it wreaks on your ability scores, so make sure you absolutely need it when you do whip it out. It definitely feels cool/strong enough to be a capstone though.


    Verdict?
    If power is your goal, the choice is clear: Student first, Artificer second, unless your campaign is very item-heavy or crafting-friendly (and even then it's a toss-up.) Warrior is next, thanks to its ability to have 100% uptime on surging without losing any rounds or power points. Leader has a nice niche that the martial members of your party may appreciate; furthermore, between that, your Charisma, your skills and your powers, you can easily fill in for a bard, binder or other party face/Jack-of-all. The class could have benefited greatly from a single martial weapon (similar to battle sorcerer) - at least for the Warrior Wilder, if no one else - but you’ll do fine without that regardless.


    Prestige Classes
    Just when you thought, after that last section full of juicy class features, that it would be easy to stay in your base class, you come here only to find that the PrCs have been upgraded too. And they are more fun than ever. Hey, no one said building a character had to be easy

    In the original version of this guide, I was unfamiliar with the class skill system in Pathfinder and so made some judgments that appear confusing in retrospect. In a nutshell - in PF, you get all the benefits of a given skill being a class skill with just one point in it; so even if a given skill isn’t a class skill for a PrC, that doesn’t actually matter the way it did in 3.5. This is why, for example, many of these PrCs don’t have Autohypnosis, and some are even missing Knowledge (Psionics) - they don’t need them, because all the base classes have those skills already.

    Random note: Cerebremancer, Slayer, Psion Uncarnate, Psionic Fist, Thrallherd and War Mind get massive props from me for having better artwork than the WotC versions in the XPH.

    Cerebremancer

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    It's an arcane-psionic theurge - not much else to say there. It did get some buffs along the same lines as the PF Mystic Theurge, to get the two halves to play together better and cut down on the blandness of 3.5. Of course, wizards and psions already play well together (certainly moreso than wizards and clerics) so this guy already has an edge; not that I mind or anything.

    The new abilities center around boosting the level and DCs of your spells and powers. This plays into the Cerebremancer's biggest advantage over an MT, namely SADness potential. After all, when you're sporting supra-maxed Int, why not go the extra mile to make saving throws that much more meaningless against you?

    Features:
    • d6 hd: As the psion/wizard themselves.
    • New Skill: Linguistics thanks to their Wizard side (i.e. Speak Language + Forgery + Decipher Script, imagine that.)
    • Magical Manifesting: You can sacrifice a spell slot to raise the effective level of a power. For example, you can sacrifice a Magic Missile (1st-level slot) to treat energy ray as a 2nd-level power. This won't make it do more damage (your ML doesn't change) but it will raise the base save DC (which, for applicable powers, you can then raise even further through augmentation.) This also affects things that care about power level, like globe of invulnerability or affinity field. As you level in this PrC, you can sacrifice higher spell slots to raise your powers even more (up to +5 from a 5th-level slot.) Naturally, +5 DC before augmentation and stats is a pretty big deal, so this is a solid ability.
    • Mind over Magic: You gain a limited ability to "augment" your spells. This lets you boost their save DC by spending PP, just as you would for a power (2PP = +1DC.) You can only spend 2PP this way initially, then 4 PP later. The DC boost is smaller than for Magical Manifesting, but this stacks with everything (including Spell Focus, Heighten and items) and the rate of conversion is far better.
    • Weave the Sources: This is the Cerebremancer's version of the MT's Spell Synthesis; you can cast a spell and manifest a power with the same action. This one is really nice with swift-action spells, as there are very few ways to get multiple swift actions in one turn.


    Verdict/Strategy: Though hurt somewhat by a lack of early-entry options in PF (and loss of psionics-friendly spells like Mental Pinnacle and Dweomer of Transference), the Cerebremancer is still one of the best theurges in the game thanks to all the synergy between its two halves.

    Your best bet with a Cerebremancer is to focus on one side (magic or manifesting) and use the other to support it; trying to split ALL your non-theurge levels between the two base classes will only make you weak. This might sound odd, but I actually recommend focusing more on magic - i.e. be a wizard that knows some psionics, rather than a psion that knows some spells.This is because psionics is generally better at a support role thanks to all its action economy manipulation powers (e.g. Hustle, Schism, Temporal Acceleration) thus allowing you to grant yourself additional actions for your spellcasting, movement, or other activities. In addition, spells scale poorly, meaning that it’s more imperative to get to higher-level spells than higher-level powers; low-level powers stay relevant much longer than low-level spells due to augmentation.Try to focus on fixed-cost psionic buffs like Hustle that don’t need to be augmented to be good - this lets you save your remaining PP to augment your spells with, which also scale passively and/or can be heightened.

    Be sure to have your psion and wizard side complement one another - you don’t want redundant combinations like Telepath/Enchanter or Seer/Diviner. Rather, try to have your psion side cover for you; if you banned Evocation, consider being a Kineticist on the Psion side to blast with, or if you banned Enchantment, that’s when you’d look at Telepathy. Finally, play to psionics’ strengths - magic is better at summoning/calling, so generally a Conjurer is better at that job than a Shaper, but psionics is better at information-gathering and mind-control, so you may want to be a Telepath rather than an Enchanter (you don’t need metamagic to hide your spells completely) or a Seer rather than a Diviner (Seers get plot-solving powers that Diviners would kill for.)


    Elocater

    Spoiler
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    Overview:

    The flavor of this class is the same as before. Mobility is everything, master motion and you master the battlefield, etc. Mechanically it has gotten definite boosts, despite losing the same amount of ML as before.

    • d8 HD: Up from d6.
    • Skill Changes:They got Fly... and lost Disable Device and Gather Information (aka Diplomacy.) Boo. Autohypnosis is gone too but, as discussed previously, you likely won’t have to worry about that one. So it’s less all-around skillmonkey and more skirmisher/scout now - but with Psion and a rogue dip, you can still be just as much of a rogue as you were before, plus be the trap-guy, and even still hit 9s if you drop out at the right point. Speaking of breakpoints:
    • Dead Level Shift: It's still 7/10 manifesting (good news for Nomads) but the dead levels have been moved from 2,5,8 to 1,5,9. Not a big change if you were interested in the class as a whole, but if you simply wanted a dip for Scorn Earth/Sidestep Charge, you’ll now lose ML.
    • Easier prereqs: For Nomads with at least 2 psion levels, that is - they can get into the class without Spring Attack, saving you a feat. A 2-level psion dip might be worthwhile for this reason, though even better would be to simply enter as one.
    • Aerial Acrobatics: You basically combine Fly and Acrobatics into one skill, with the effectiveness of both. (i.e. you get your Fly ranks as an untyped bonus to Acrobatics and vice versa.) You also treat all Jumps as though you had a running start. Very nice; this ability should have you leaping/tumbling/ wire-fu-ing all over the room in short order, as well as making various aerial maneuvers easier to pull off. Elocaters are skilled at getting into flanking positions.
    • Personal Gravity: Treat walls and ceilings as though they were floors; reorienting yourself is a free action. Naturally, this beats the pants off of Up the Walls (requires focus) and Wall Walker (can’t run, limited duration). You can even sleep on walls or ceilings with this. Note that if you wear medium+ armor, or become heavily encumbered while doing this, you slow down drastically - so no grabbing party members and sprinting up the cliff face unless you have a portable hole to throw them into first. This should also let you ignore Reverse Gravity, Defenstrating Sphere and similar spells.
    • Scorn Earth: The iconic Elocater ability - touching the ground is for chumps and muggles, You now slow down if heavily encumbered or wearing medium armor, but your speed boost (see below) should cancel it out. You can also turn it on and off at will, for those times when you do want to keep your feet on the ground. (Perhaps you could in 3.5; it's not clearly stated.) The new version has another advantage too...
    • Terminal Velocity (New): While either Scorn Earth or Personal Gravity is active, you can't accidentally fall. (Think Wile E. Coyote walking out over a cliff in the Road Runner cartoons.) You can then take move actions to safely float down 30' at a time. (Just remember that floating back up takes longer.) This is great for pit traps, getting bull-rushed off cliffs etc.
    • Freerunning (New): You get a circumstance bonus to your land speed that scales as you level. This doesn't stack with other circumstance bonuses (an exception to circumstance bonuses stacking.) But it will stack with other types of speed bonus, like Haste’s enhancement bonus.
    • Spatial Awareness: This is the PF version of Opportunistic Strike. There are some important changes here, however:
      - Your target no longer needs to have been damaged in melee by an ally; it now only needs to be flanked. However, you are now required to flank the enemy as well to get this bonus, so melee looks like the way to go with an Elocater (unless you have a way to flank from range.)
      - You also get the bonus if you're attacking from higher ground. (Note that this requires you to have a higher ground bonus to begin with - so melee, again.) Further, attackers on higher ground get no bonus to hit you. Both of these uses push Elocaters more towards melee combat; just be sure you have a tank/summon to flank with.

      This also still only applies to your first attack, so it’s not quite sneak attack - however, it does mean that you can put that spring attack feat to good use, leaping in to slash before leaping out again.
    • Dimension Step: As the standard Elocater ability, but you now get more uses (up to 3/day instead of one) A straightforward buff.
    • Flanker: Unchanged. This combos brilliantly with your spring attack and OS abilities - allowing you to run up and flank someone briefly even when the position of an adjacent ally might otherwise prevent it. (Say, both of you are attacking from the same direction.) The battlefield is your playground as an Elocater, so get creative and experiment.
    • Dimension Swap (New): You can burn a use of your Dimension Step to switch places with an ally within 60 ft. Excellent! Get the caster out of trouble, or sneak your psicrystal up behind somebody and suddenly take its place. This only adds to your already impressive mobility..
    • Transporter: As the standard Elocater ability; bonus powers are always nice, especially when they are discounted down to 3rd-level (i.e. 5 PP instead of 9). Since you can enter the class earlier now (5 for Nomads), this ability just got even better.
    • Capricious Step: Unchanged and still awesome; another signature Elocater ability. Casting in melee is MUCH more dangerous in PF, so the ability to 10-foot step is invaluable. This also allows you to escape foes with the Step Up feat - they can follow your first but not your second.
    • Dimension Spring Attack: Unchanged, but improved nonetheless (since you get more than one Dimension Step.) Note that you still need Spring Attack for this, even if you used Nomad's Step to qualify for the class earlier (so get it before this if you want to use it.)
    • Accelerated Action: Unchanged. Effectively, 5 free rounds of haste per day, parceled out as you choose. Unlike regular haste, you can cast + full attack with this (but not double-cast.)


    Verdict/Strategy:
    While some of the nerfs gave me pause, I still feel the Elocater has come out ahead. If you want more than anything to be a mobile warrior/scout-type, Elocater is for you. Soulknives can get in at level 5 as well if you swap Wild Talent for Hidden/Unlocked Talent, and the class will now progress their Mind Blades to boot, so consider giving it a look despite the BAB drop.

    Sadly, neither DSA nor AA sem like worthwhile abilities to me. I would skip them both, dropping out at 8 and saving a valuable ML in the process. This also allows you to dip Rogue/Ranger, getting a ton of valuable skillpoints to use with your Int, and still get to 9ths.


    Metamind

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    Overview:
    One of my favorite PrCs also got the most massive overhaul. Once a cool idea marred by horrible execution (note to WotC: Infinite PP for one minute is not overpowered, thanks to the ML limit on PP expenditure! Learn your own rules!), the Metamind is now a powerhouse - losing only 3 ML (yay 9ths!) and with much better abilities leading up to its capstone, plus a much better chassis. If you favor magazine size in your firearms - if you find yourself using the phrase "MORE DAKKA" while you play games of any sort - the Metamind is for you.


    Features:
    • d6 HD: Up from d4
    • Skill Changes: Goodbye Craft, we hardly knew ye.
    • Manifesting: This class brings back a bit of nostalgia from 3.0 psionics - tracking PP/day and Powers known on different tracks. This is excellent news, however - it means that even on the "dead levels" where the class gains no ML or Powers Known, it still gains PP as though advancing in Psion. This fits the image of the class as becoming the ultimate psionic battery. (I bet Psiforged would love this one.)
      (Note: it's not a perfect PP stack - after all, your bonus PP are based on ML, of which you lose 3 - but porting Practiced Manifester in from CPsi should cover that and give you the maximum possible for your level and ability score.)
    • Cognizance Psicrystal: You can store extra PP in your psicrystal. Remember that the cardinal rule for Cognizance Crystals (i.e. powers can only be paid for by one source at a time) still applies in Pathfinder.
    • Sequestration: If you have Hyperconscious, this should look familiar. By "switching off" a number of powers you know in your mind, you get to increase your PP pool by those powers' cost. In short, you trade versatility in manifestation for more PP/day. Unlike the Hyperconscious version, sequestering is not permanent - you can reactivate "switched off" powers every morning, and deactivate new ones throughout the day as needed (or leave them all turned on, and have "just" the normal PP of a psion of your level.) You don't have to choose which ones to switch off until you determine that you need the extra juice. Fantastic! Eat your heart out, Body Fuel.
    • Psionic Talent: As if you didn't get enough PP from the above, you get Psionic Talent as a bonus feat a few times while levelling in ths PrC. More Dakka indeed.
    • Efficient Recharge: 1/day, you can recharge your cognizance psicrystal by only spending half PP. Since this is the kind of thing you'd only be doing 1/day anyway (i.e. before bed), this is perfect. But then they went and gave you ANOTHER use per day at later levels. Did I mention how much I love this class?
    • Font of Power: The Metamind's signature ability; one minute of unlimited power points. Go Dragonball Z on the BBEG! More on this ability:
      - You've got 10 rounds of this - use them wisely!
      - Some powers have been modified to make sure they don't work with this e.g. Bestow Power. Research your strategy carefully before trying anything tricky with this.
      - You gain DR 10/- for the duration: This is great, because there's no way to turn off the neon "ATTACK ME" sign once you activate this.
      - Powers you manifest during this cannot be interrupted. Sure you're going to be a target for everything in the room, but with uninterruptable manifesting, what can stop you? (Well, maybe getting your head chopped off... perhaps the first round of this should be a max-augmented Vigor + Quickened Share Pain.)


    Verdict/Strategy:
    What a buff! Not only is this class playable now, it's strong and flavorful as well. This may as well be the Archpsion if you ask me.

    It gets positively lethal if you bring in 3.5. material; this face of the PrC, just like its Hyperconscious precursor, is DYNAMITE for Erudites. All those extra powers you're never going to use? Sequester them, and end up with more ammunition than a sorcerer could ever dream of, without ever sacrificing anything in your core complement. The best part is you can do this on the fly, just like you do with your UPD. These classes were made for each other. (Naturally, it's good for Psions and Ardents too.) Kudos to DSP for finally fixing this great class.

    Additional maths: At max level, assuming you have 11 9th-level powers known to sequester (unlikely) you'll top out at +187 PP. In practical terms, you're likely to have much less - even an Erudite will probably end up having to dip into low-level stuff.


    Psion Uncarnate

    Spoiler
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    Overview:

    As with the WotC Uncarnate, this one focuses around dispensing with the whole "Matter" part of "Mind over Matter." That pesky sausage wrapped around your powerhouse of a brain can now be safely gotten rid of, should you take this class.

    Features:
    • d6 HD: Up from d4.
    • Skill changes: No Knowledge (Psionics) - but pretty much any class you would enter this with has it anyway.
    • Manifesting: Unchanged. This still loses 4 ML (dead levels in the same spots), which means non-Ardents may find it tough to swallow. It does have several buffs to try and compensate for the low ML however.
    • Shed Body: You now get this iconic ability as soon as you enter the class. Furthermore, shedding is now a move action instead of a standard, allowing you to manifest on the same round that you drop your shell (and benefit from the DC boost.) Finally, instead of being limited to "1 minute, 1/day," you get finer control - 10 rounds, divisible as you choose, with an additional round for each level in the PrC. In terms of total time this is a nerf (e.g. a WotC Uncarnate 6 could stay incorporeal for 20 rounds/day, a PF Uncarnate only 16) - however, the PF Uncarnate can do this 16 separate times of 1 round each, while the WotC Uncarnate can only do it twice. Since, outside of combat, you're only likely to want to "wink out" briefly (e.g. to float through a locked door, out of a jail cell or pit etc.) the increased control is preferable to simply being able to stay ghostly longer in aggregate.
    • Matter-Bound (New): This is a much needed corollary ability. In the XPH, Uncarnates couldn't take any of their gear along with them without the horribly-limited Assume Equipment ability; this meant that going Uncarnate generally meant coming out on the other side naked (And for most of your career, with no way to get back through the obstacle and get your clothes/equipment.) Now, Uncarnates have the option to absorb their equipment into their ghostly forms - this switches it off, but allows them to take everything with them from level 1. No more stripping naked and throwing all your stuff into your bag of holding (assuming you even had one); now you just take your stuff with you, return to corporeality and it all pops back into existence when you do. You can also choose to leave your gear material while you fade out - this gives you the combat benefits of being incorporeal (minus the deflection to AC) but without the ability to walk through walls. Thus, if all you wanted was to be immune to mundane damage for instance and still have access to your items, you can opt for that too. A much-needed buff.
    • Incorporeal Touch: Mostly unchanged, except that it has been compressed a bit (instead of getting damage boosts at 1, 5, and 9, you get them at 2,5,8.) You also get FAR more uses/day - You start with 3 and go up to more than double that, plus the clause of unlimited uses while shedding still applies. It's not the most damaging ability in the world, but a special attack that works on both worlds could be useful.
    • Uncarnate Armor: You can now keep your armor active while absorbed, including magic effects like Fortification. Since you don't get Cha to AC like other incorporeal creatures, this is handy. Best of all, this doesn't count for Assume Equipment (see below) which has its own tracker.
    • Assume Equipment: Unchanged from the XPH ability, though now you don't have to count armor (it stays active even when subsumed, including any special abilities on it, so there's no reason to.)
    • Assume Likeness: As the XPH ability. Fool people, but make sure you don't float through walls or accept items from them, or the jig's up.
    • Parting the Veil (New): You can spend a use of your Incorporeal Touch to give the Ghost Touch property to a weapon or armor. This can be used on an ally's equipment as well.
    • Hide Mind (New): An odd ability; nothing can identify you as being psionic. Everything about this class seems to be designed to freak people out; not sure what else you'd use this for. (The ultimate idea seems to be making you into an Unbodied.)
    • Psionic Talent: Free feats are always nice.
    • Telekinetic Force: As the XPH ability, with the saving throw being buffed to 10 + Uncarnate level + manifesting mod, instead of just 14 + manifesting mod. (i.e. when you learn this, the save DC will be 3 higher than the XPH version, and counting.)
      Note that the power this duplicates has been greatly buffed from the XPH version, as Telekinetic Thrust has been rolled into it, so having this at-will (at least, while ghostly) gives you some potent attack options. And being supernatural, this ignores SR/PR.
    • Rend the Veil (New) *F*: Awesome. You can force incorporeal creatures to be corporeal (by expending focus) or vice-versa (by expending an IT use.) All of their equipment is similarly affected. You can use this offensively (force that pesky wraith to manifest so the party can wail on him) or defensively (touch the party and take them all with you through the wall.) Both uses last up to a minute, and you can end either as a swift action whenever you like.
    • Uncarnate Bridge: As the XPH ability, except it's now a move action, but you lose the "damage" option. Instead, you can nauseate both the entry and exit creatures. This is a Fort rather than a Will save. It is unclear whether you have to be adjacent to (or in the same square as) either party before or after transit.
    • Uncarnate: The famous capstone - you drop your body forever. Some buffs over the XPH version:
      - You finally gain the Cha to AC Deflection bonus other incorporeal creatures have, minimum +1. (You also keep the armor bonus from Uncarnate Armor!)
      - You treat your key ability score as 4 points higher for the purposes of counting your bonus PP.
      - You gain yet another +1 DC to all your offensive powers.
      - Instead of being able to become material for 1 minute, your Shed Body ability simply works in reverse - granting you 20 rounds (again, divided as you choose) of corporeality.


    Verdict?
    With Shed Body being (much) stronger, you can now actually forgo the capstone in this class until Epic, allowing you to grab 9th-level powers before then without being an Ardent, and retain most of the iconic benefits. While I still question the worth of staying in the class for a full manifester (particularly given how much the base classes have been buffed), it does have its flavor niche, and very unique abilities that should stand out in any campaign. If you want a durable manifester that is very hard to constrain or kill, Uncarnate may be for you. Telepaths and Seers do well with this class, since it has strong benefits for manifesters that are able to get into their foes' heads.


    Psychic Fist

    Spoiler
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    Overview:

    The Monk/Manifester combination class. This version is significantly improved over the 3.5 version - for one, it has actual class features now, and for two, it has a new progression option that makes it more of a true "theurge." The name was also changed - not only does "psychic fist" sound cooler (at least to me - there's a kick in it), it eliminates the confusion between the class and the feat.

    Features:
    • d8 HD: Up from d6.
    • Requirements: Changed from Concentration 9 ranks to Acrobatics 6 ranks. In addition, instead of Wild Talent you now need Psionic Fist or Weapon instead. Since you need to be psionic anyway for THOSE feats, you may still end up needing Wild Talent and this becomes a bit of a tax. (If you're a monk with a nonpsionic race, for example.) For non-psionic races this is a nerf, for the psionic ones it's a wash.
    • Skill changes: Acrobatics gives them Balance. However, they lost Spot, Listen, Knowledge (Religion) and Sense Motive. Ouch! Luckily, you likely have these from Monk.
    • Manifesting: As I mentioned above, you have two options here: Upon entering the class, you can go with (a) the standard Psionic Fist progression, i.e. having your own powers known, up to 70 PP/day (+bonus PP from Wis) and your own ML; OR (b) if you enter the class with manifesting levels from another source, you can continue that progression for 8/10 levels. (Dead levels are PF 1 and 6.) Obviously, continuing existing manifesting is the stronger option (turning this class into Sacred/Englightened Fist for Psions), but for a lower-power campaign you can enter this with pure monk and reap the benefits of some decent psionic buffs on your monk chassis.
    • Monk Abilities: Psychic Fist advances monk speed, damage, AC, and now flurry. Huzzah! In addition, you get Ki Power, which lets half your PF levels count towards your ki pool and ki strike. Psychic Fist means you get most of the meat of monk without the crappy bits.
    • Infused Body: (F) Maintain focus to gain a small amount of DR (up to 3/-.) It's small, but keep in mind that a Barbarian 20 only gets 5/- so you're not far behind - and YOU have Vigor + Share Pain Also, you can look at it as an untyped +3 to Concentration checks. But more importantly, you'll be wanting to keep your focus up for other abilities too, so this is a fair bonus.
    • Mesmerizing Glow: AoE daze is nice - at least one monster is bound to fail their save if your Wis is high enough, and the beauty about this is that it isn't mind-affecting. The DC is pretty low though (15+Wis at capstone). What's nice is that it only needs LoS, so you can fire it off from inside a sphere or something, but the short range could put you in danger. All in all - it's better than most ki abilities, but nothing too astounding.
    • Bonus Feat: The sole class feature of the Psionic Fist returns, and it's as good as ever. If you entered as a non-psionic race, consider this a refund.
    • Concentrated Will: This is great if you optimize your check - ignore all damage from one hit by making an Autohypnosis check. by RAW, this will stop damage-based rider effects (like injury poison) too. If you have no better use for your ki, you may as well put it here. Unfortunately, it requires an immediate action, so you can only do this once per round.
    • Psionic Acrobatics: (F) Wis to Acrobatics checks as long as you stay focused. This is great, because Acrobatics = Tumble, and you'll want that as high as possible.
    • Psychic Fusion: The capstone is nice but not mind-blowing. Confirm a crit, and you can manifest any standard-action-or-less power that includes whoever you hit (as a target or in its area) as a swift action. Sounds nice in theory, but most of the psychic warrior list consists of self-buffs rather than offensive powers, so you won't be able to use them with this; ergo, you'll likely get more mileage out of this ability if you used PsyFist to progress a more directly offensive manifester, than if you'd used it's innate progression. Still, it's nice to have.

    Last edited by Psyren; 2013-02-07 at 02:20 PM.
    Alphonse Elric by Fay Graydon
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    First, please don't start threads with ideas you don't support just to see what reactions you get. That's almost the definition of trolling.

    Second, the whole "blue text" thing is not a forum rule or even a recommended procedure. If someone wants to do it in their own posts, fine, but everyone should stop telling people that they "need to" or "should have" posted in blue just because they're being sarcastic/ironic/whatever.

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    Default Re: Pathfinder Psionics vs. XPH Psionics - A Handbook

    5. The Classes Continued (Remaining PrCs)

    Phrenic Slayer

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    The quintessential psionic gish/hunter archetype gets a update. This PrC was actually two classes in 3.5 - the Mindflayer-specific Illithid Slayer from the XPH, and the somewhat broader Slayer from the SRD. DSP kept the SRD Slayer's freedom of choice, resulting in a class that can choose from a variety of puissant prey.

    Features:
    • d10 hd: Up from d8.
    • New Skill: Know (Psionics) is likely to be more relevant in most campaigns than Dungeoneering, so I consider this a buff. Besides, you get dungeoneering from Ranger anyway. (You DID enter with Ranger, right??)
    • Easier skill/feat prereqs: Well, sort of. If you entered with Ranger, nothing changed - you still got your entry feat for free. If you didn't though, you need SF: Survival (there is no "Track" feat in PF) or the Iron Will feat; non-rangers will likely prefer the latter as will saves tend to come up reliably. In addition, as above, Psionics is generally a more likely to be rolled knowledge - particularly in a psionic campaign - than Dungeoneering is.
    • Story Prereq: A clear nerf over the SRD Slayer, this roleplay requirement demands you to have had a hostile encounter with your favored enemy type (see below) before entering. However, this one at least doesn't demand that you win (and win alone at that!) against your foe like the XPH does. Since all that is needed is an encounter, you can much more easily justify writing it into your backstory too. (How many adventurers have had their village destroyed by a dragon, or escaped mindflayer slavery with nothing but the clothes on their back?)
    • Proficiencies: Unchanged. (Woohoo!)
    • Favored Enemy: You now get the bonus to attack rolls as well. This is in line with the same buff PF rangers got over their 3.5 cousins.
    • Enemy Sense: Unchanged.
    • Brain Nausea: (F) As expected, this one was changed a lot. Overall I think it came out ahead though.
      Spoiler
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      - Instead of protecting your brain from getting eaten, it now provides a backlash effect if you succeed at any will save from a FE's attack. This encompasses both targeted and area effects. This is generally more useful than keeping your brain from getting eaten because, let's face it, if your brain was about to get eaten you were probably losing the fight anyway.

      - You must now maintain focus for the ability to be active. This also means it won't protect you while unconscious/asleep anymore either, so beware!

      - The saving throw is now 10 + half-slayer level + Wis mod. In most cases that will make it lower than the save of the old one - the old slayer's cap was 25, so you'd need a Wis mod of 10 to break even with that (10 + 5 + 10), which means a Wis score of 30. Similarly, a 1st-level 3.5 Slayer's save was DC 16, so you would need 20 Wis to equal that (10 + 1 + 5). However, it does mean that yours isn't capped now either.

      - The backlash debuffs are much nastier now. Instead of inexplicably finding your brain distasteful, your enemy is afflicted with status effects that actually have a chance to turn the tide of battle - sickened, then nauseated, then stunned as you gain levels in the class. Those last two prevent them from using psionics on you at all (or, just as importantly, your allies), so I would definitely prefer those to a mere aversion.

    • Lucid Buffer - The save boost was reduced to +2 at lower levels. (Why?) Still useful though, and combos quite well with Brain Nausea.
    • Power Resistance: A welcome new ability. It only applies to your favored enemy, but this is actually a good thing since you probably won't have to lower it to accept buffs from allies.
    • Cerebral Blind: Unchanged, still good.
    • Breach Power Resistance: Now only apples to your favored enemy. This rolls back a stealth buff that the SRD Slayer got over the XPH one.
    • Cerebral Immunity: Total immunity is replaced with a +10 typed (resistance) bonus to your save. This is in line with the PF nerfs to Mind Blank. Good news if you're fighting a Slayer perhaps, but not so good if you want to be one. (Thankfully, it isn't restricted to your FE.)
    • Rebound Attack: *F* Another cool reason to maintain your focus - so you can fire it off and reddopsi a favored enemy's targeted power back into their smug face. This has a lot of fun (and power) potential, but be mindful of the changes to reddopsi in PF (see the power section for details.) In particular, check with the DM about the "partial reflection" clause and whether it applies to this ability - RAW is not clear.


    Verdict/Strategy: Though eating a few nerfs (the mind blank nerf especially hurts, though that's not the class' fault), the PS retains its worth as the standard psionics/melee gish PrC. Psychic Warriors desiring full BAB should probably go with War Mind instead, but Psions (especially Psion/Rangers) have a lot to love here, even with one of the abilities being based on Wis. And the class is still easier to enter than the Illithid Slayer.


    Pyrokineticist

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    I never really saw the appeal of this class - if I want to set something on fire, I can guarantee that having manifesting will make it a lot easier than not having manifesting would. Fluff incongruencies aside, I can understand a melee class simply wanting to jazz things up a bit - so here we are.

    Features:
    • d8 hd: Unchanged.
    • New Skills:Acrobatics replaces Jump, meaning you get Tumble/Balance for free as well. They lose Craft though (and still need it for entry.) But the kicker is that you get Autohypnosis now too! (Autohypnosis replaces Concentration as your entry req.)
    • Whip Proficiency: Yet another WotC hole that DSP was forced to plug - you no longer eat nonproficiency penalties for using your own weapon. DSP took it a step further and gave you proficiency with all whips, not just your fire lash - enjoy. (This is the equivalent of a free feat, just for entering the class.)
    • Fire Lash: The standard benefits are still here, but now, the Soulknife gets some additional love - if you have the Altered Blade bladeskill, you can use the whip with all your Soulknife class features - adding an enhancement bonus and abilities with Enhanced Blade, add Psychic Strike damage, even add the trip and disarm properties of a regular whip if you took Weapon Special. Wow! Needless to say, this is a staggering buff, and makes it pretty clear which class this PrC was meant for. But there is a catch (isn't there always?) - namely, all damage the whip deals becomes fire damage if you go this route, no matter what abilities you put on your blade. Even Psychic Strike becomes fire damage, as do other sources of bonus damage like sneak attack. But the good news is that you can still form your regular mind blade if you're up against something that's immune to fire. Note however that the class still doesn't ADVANCE Soulknife, so if you want as much power out of your "mind whip" as possible, don't take too many levels after getting this.
    • Manipulate Blaze: This new ability is basically 3/day Pyrotechnics, though with a new ability (Healing Heat.) Note that the blind effect of the Pyrotechnics SHOULD ignore PR despite the sentence there, as it is Su rather than a spell - talk to your DM. The healing is a nice way to use your PP, as most Soulknives have no use for it; sadly, it is self-only. Carry a torch with you and you can produce minor utility on command.
    • Fire Adaptation: As before, except both bonuses double at Pyro 7. I don't think it's worth that much ML/MB loss, but if you were staying anyway it's handy.
    • Hand Afire: As before, except the damage doubles at 8th level (consistent with Weapon Afire from the 3.5 version.) A welcome buff but again, not really worth losing 8 ML/MB for.
    • Bolt of Fire: Unchanged.
    • Weapon Afire: Unchanged, and now includes Greater Weapon Afire. Sadly, you can still only do one projectile at a time with this rather than enchanting a stack.
    • Nimbus: Unchanged. The visual is cool (hot?) but it only lasts min./level and can only be activated 1/day - meaning you can't even divide up the minutes across various encounters. Disappointing that this wasn't buffed even that much. Beware, because it's dispellable and will also provoke.
    • Firewalk: Unchanged.
    • Leech Heat: A fantastic new ability - unlimited healing! As if that weren't enough, this gives you a way to damage fire-based creatures. If you did want to stay in Pyro, this is a compelling reason. Note that by RAW, this will heal you even if used on something that is resistant or immune to cold, letting you spam your way back to full health.
    • Penetrating Fire: A new and much-needed ability - your attacks can pierce fire resistance. This applies to Hand and Weapon afire as well. It also applies to Nimbus (the touch attack, not the aura.)
    • Heat Death: This no longer kills, but instead does fire damage every round you concentrate. Not only that, but a successful save causes half-damage and forces you to restart the ability. That's right, half-damage - so it actually does even less on a successful save than it used to. Bah.
    • Conflagration: You can now use this every 10 minutes instead of 1/day. Otherwise unchanged.
    • Fire Soul: A new capstone, very nice. Fire immunity is something I would expect a Pyro to have; the additional uses of Nimbus are very welcome as well.


    Verdict/Strategy: Though much-improved from 3.5 (minus the nerfing of my favorite trick, Heat Death spam), the Pyrokineticist is still underwhelming except in low-magic/low-psionics games. In my opinion, the best ability of this class is given to you at level 1 (particularly if you're a soulknife.) A good strategy is to dip this, then form your mind blade with a different set of abilities (and no fire damage.) Then you can use this on fire-vulnerable enemies, while using your regular blade on fire-resistant ones. You can also dual-wield - creating your regular blade in Light form while wielding the fire lash one-handed. You can even apply your full enhancement bonus to both of them by RAW.

    Alternatively, progress to Weapon Afire and add 2d6-4d6 to your mind blade for free (i.e. without dipping into your enhancement pool.)


    War Mind


    Thrallherd
    Last edited by Psyren; 2013-02-16 at 10:50 AM.
    Alphonse Elric by Fay Graydon
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    First, please don't start threads with ideas you don't support just to see what reactions you get. That's almost the definition of trolling.

    Second, the whole "blue text" thing is not a forum rule or even a recommended procedure. If someone wants to do it in their own posts, fine, but everyone should stop telling people that they "need to" or "should have" posted in blue just because they're being sarcastic/ironic/whatever.

  9. - Top - End - #9
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    Post Re: Pathfinder Psionics vs. XPH Psionics - A Handbook

    8. The Powers

    Pathfinder made some noticeable changes to the powers from the XPH. Many of the changes were subtle; holes were plugged through which optimizers might have otherwise escaped; other powers were given augmentation options that did not previously exist, allowing them to scale better; and some were simply renamed to get away from "X, Psionic: as X, except as noted here." Some were quite drastic alterations, such as the merging of two or more existing powers into one. While I'll review all the powers here, I'll spend more time of course on the ones that changed - those that didn't, I'll simply flag as being identical to their XPH version and move on.

    General Changes

    This is not an exhaustive list - as more occur to me I may update it.

    • As stated earlier, elemental powers no longer let you choose the damage type on the fly (unless you are a kineticist.) You must instead choose your "default" energy type, and can change it only when you gain psionic focus (or temporarily when you surge, if you're a wilder.) I have warmed to this change, as in 3.5. there was little reason not to be a Wilder rather than a Kineticist if all you wanted to do was blast.
    • There are now two exceptions to the "psionics have no components" rule:
      1. Crystals: Three powers (Bend Reality, Reality Revision and Incarnate) have had their XP costs replaced with GP costs. These are represented in the default fluff by needing specially treated or cut crystals that focus your psionic power, and are burned out once you manifest. An adaptation exists that lets you dispense with crystals (even psicrystals) entirely if your campaign wishes - replacing them with other materials, like special thought-focusing incense, or phials of refined ectoplasm etc. - but the gp cost remains the same. Psicrystals can be replaced with things like dolls of the character, ectoplasmic homunculi etc. Though DSP did their best to keep the system totally component-free (and did a fantastic job imo), balancing every single effect without gp costs no doubt proved difficult - particularly for such an open-ended effect as Reality Revision. It does make a certain amount of sense that such a powerful ability would require outside help.
      2. Purely Mental Actions: All Psionic Powers are purely mental actions, just as they were in D&D. However, it has been clarified that powers that require you to subsequently touch the target, point your finger etc. need you to be able to move (i.e. not paralyzed or bound) first. This is not a full-on somatic component, merely a clarification that you still can't, say, Feat Leech someone (requires a touch attack) if they have your arms manacled behind you. Similarly, powers that involve speaking (e.g. Compelling Voice) will work while silenced/gagged, but probably won't be very effective. Though maybe your allies can gather something from you appearing in their heads saying "Mmmrph mmrph!!!"

    • Negative levels no longer affect your ability to manifest powers - this includes your power points, powers known, and the maximum you can spend on a power (since your ML is also unchanged.) This is in keeping with Pathfinder's rule that negative levels don't affect spellcasters' casting abilities either. The other penalties (reduced attack rolls and saves, etc.) are just as they are in Pathfinder. Your effective ML is also decreased - this affects variables such as ability to overcome PR, power durations etc.
    • "Talents": In addition, some of the lower-level powers on this list have what I'll call a "cantrip option." Reminiscent of 3.0's Talents (psionic cantrips), these powers have an option that lets you manifest them free of charge, but usually (though not always) disables their other augmentations. To manifest them this way you must typically expend psionic focus.

      Here is a nice trick though - unlike the "Discipline Talents" from the Psion section, which work much the same way, manifesting these powers with the cantrip option does allow you to apply Metapsionic feats to them.


    Without further ado:
    (R) = Renamed XPH Power, for easy identification of those.
    (N) = New power (same reason).
    Buffs are blue.
    Nerfs are red.
    The color of a power's name gives its overall ranking relative to its XPH version. This may be due to changes specific to the power itself, or general differences between PF and 3.5.

    A

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    Adapt Body - Unchanged.

    Affinity Field - A small clarifying clause added to the "immunity" section prevents your own sudden immunity to a particular effect from prematurely terminating that effect on creatures within the field (unless they gain the immunity effect as well.) That's a mouthful, so here's an example:
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    Say an area fear effect (e.g. Fear) hits the folks within your field, and you make your will save, becoming shaken, while everyone else panics. On your next turn you quickly Mind Blank - however, while this will make you immune to Cause Fear, MB is too high to be transmitted through the field, and so everyone else will still be scared. If you are hit with Remove Fear instead, however, that will be transmitted through the field (it is low level) and de-fear everyone.

    tl;dr - becoming immune to something yourself won't make everyone else immune unless that specific effect is transmitted through the field itself.

    I'm not sure it worked any differently before, but maybe the question was raised to DSP at some point.

    Anchored Navigation: Unchanged (though it still says "teleport beacon" rather than "psychoport beacon.")

    Animal Affinity: Unchanged.

    Apopsi:
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    The XP cost to the manifester has been removed (as with all XP costs in Pathfinder) - but has not been replaced with a GP cost. The power has been weakened to compensate for this; the target now gets an additional fort save 24 hours later to get the powers back, only requiring chirurgery or revision if that save fails.

    It has also been clarified that the deleted powers no longer count as "powers known" when the subject gains a level - which is good news if this power was used on you, since it means you can pick new powers to replace the deleted ones as well as your normal powers when you gain a level, catching you up to the table. (You can thus relearn the deleted powers when you level.) It also means that psychic reformation will let you reselect the lost powers, since they no longer count as powers known, giving you empty slots to fill. (Which means this level 9 power can be undone by a level 4 power, so try and delete that one.) Apopsi is quite a bit weaker now due to these changes, but I doubt anyone except DMs was using this thing anyway, so it doesn't really matter in my book.


    Assimilate:
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    Clarification: The temp HP gained from multiple partial assimilation do not stack. (This is RAW, but was not clearly stated before.)

    The bonus HP you gain from a total assimilation now equal the target's HP at the time of absorption, NOT the damage you dealt. (i.e. absorbing someone who had 5 HP left now gives you 5 HP, not 20d6.)

    The power you learn from assimilation is now chosen randomly. (i.e. not by you.) The disguise bonus is unchanged.

    The bonus to your ability scores is now a function of your strength relative to the target. To get the full +4 bonus to all your ability scores, the target must have been stronger than you (i.e. 9 or more HD.) An equal-HD target gives you +4 to 3 ability scores, while a target 9 HD or more less than you gives no bonus at all. No more slurping anthills (or more practically, Bag of Tricks) to buff up before a fight.

    Overall this power is still usable, but significantly weaker than it was in D&D.


    Astral Caravan: Unchanged. (I was never too enamored of this power - like Shadow Walk, the temptation/opportunity for DM-screw seems just too great.) But it IS (probably) the lowest level planar travel in the game at least.

    Astral Construct: - Unchanged... from the XPH version (rejoice!) Note that there have been some changes to ACs themselves - these will be discussed in the Monsters section.

    Astral Seed: As there is no level loss in Pathfinder, you simply keep the negative level you had in crystal form when you form your body instead. (This does not affect your ability to manifest powers, and can be removed with Psychic Chirurgery or Restoration at any time.)

    Astral Traveler: Unchanged.

    Attraction: Unchanged.

    Augured Answer (R): This is the renamed form of Psionic Divination. The fluff has been tweaked slightly (the information comes from a prediction made by you, not from some external being,) but is otherwise unchanged.

    Aura Alteration: An additional augment was added - allowing you to buff the second save the power grants to the subject. This is particularly useful because the bonus is untyped. Otherwise unchanged.

    Aura Sight: Unchanged.

    Aversion: Unchanged (I think they could have made the penalty augmentable.)


    B

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    Baleful Teleport: Unchanged.

    Banish (R): This is the renamed form of Psionic Banishment. As with the XPH version, Psions get no benefit from presenting objects the subject hates and fears; instead, we can boost the DC/PR check through augmentation.

    Banishment, Psionic (R): See Banish.

    Barred Mind (R):
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    This is the renamed form of Psionic Mind Blank. As with Pathfinder's Mind Blank, this has been nerfed: you no longer have blanket immunity to all mind-affecting effects, but instead get a +8 resistance bonus to your save against these. You retain immunity to scrying and other information-gathering effects.

    An augment has been added, however, letting you boost the saving throw bonus by spending PP (2:1 ratio.)

    Ironically, this nerf does plug a paradox in the power - Psionic Mind Blank protects against mind-affecting powers, but is itself mind-affecting. Now that all it does is boost your save, this does not come into play as the power is (harmless.)


    Barred Mind, Personal (R): This is the renamed form of Personal Mind Blank. See above for changes to mind blanks in general; otherwise, this power is unchanged.

    Bend Reality:
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    Has been lowered to 7(!) putting it in line with Limited Wish. Discipline powers it can access are now dropped to 5th-level and lower unless they are from your own discipline.

    The save DC has of course been lowered accordingly as well. but getting this gem two levels earlier should more than compensate.

    As there are no XP costs in Pathfinder, manifesting this now requires 1500gp instead for a specially-constructed crystal array. This brings it in line with Pathfinder Limited Wish. However, no additional costs are needed for emulating costly powers or spells.[/color] For some reason, despite the level being lowered, you can still force a -8 on the enemy's save instead of -7 (like LW); expect this to be patched.


    Bestow Power:
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    Yeah, you saw this nerf coming. "The power point cost of this power cannot be reduced below the number of points transferred" sums it up. So you can make it a 1:1 donation, but no better than that no matter what you do.

    Oh, actually that's not quite all: You cannot use any "free" sources of points, like Wild Surge or Font of Power.

    One more nerf: "This power is not subject to the effects of Affinity Field."

    I'm sure with time and effort (and splats) it can be broken again, but for now that's the major holes plugged. So now when your friend asks for PP, yell "get your own!" (Or at least be prepared to actually sacrifice this time.)


    Biofeedback: Unchanged.

    Bite of the Wolf:
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    This one's tricky. For Psywars its a definite nerf, for everyone else a buff. Basically, the automatic scaling has been removed, and replaced by an augment option This means that other classes can benefit from having a boosted bite. Psywars, however, not only have to pay for the privilege - they get the boosts a level later than they used to due to the ML/augment rule, and need assistance to get the 5d8 bite pre-epic. Them's the breaks.

    On the other hand, you can now PrC out with your Psywar and still get a full bite - or be a gish (e.g. Egoist/Slayer) and get the full benefit. It also gives War Minds/Psychic Fists a scaling option. Finally, it appears to add on 1d8 per tier no matter the base bite size - great if you're medium or smaller, not so much if you're Large+. So, jury's out on this one; I'll let you guys judge.


    Body Adjustment: Unchanged. Your egoist may want to give this a second look now though, due to the new toys they got (e.g. the ability to heal others with it.)

    Body Equilibrium: Unchanged.

    Body of Iron (R):
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    This is the renamed form of, naturally, Psionic Iron Body. Psywars get it now too (level 6 for them) so definite yay there (especially since it means your psion can cheat and nab it at 13 instead of 15.)

    Your ASF (if it matters) is reduced to 35% (down from 50%) and your ACP is reduced to -6 (down from -8.) These are Pathfinder changes to full plate, rather than adjustments to the power. The ACP reduction is very handy, since it applies to things like Initiative.

    The number one buff here is giving it to Psywars, as there aren't many powerful 6th-level options for them; getting an 8th-level buff that confers this many immunities seems like one to me.


    Body Purification: Unchanged.

    Bolt: The augmentation now gives you more bolts along with raising the bonus, all for the same cost. Pass them out to the party!

    Brain Lock: Two changes here, two nerfs and a nice buff.
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    1) Now explicitly shuts off (almost) all actions, not just psionic ones. The dazed condition does this anyway, but the wording makes it less ambiguous. However, fliers or swimmers hit by this instinctively and safely head for land so you can't force plummeting/drowning anymore.

    2) The target can now spend a full-round action to try and fight it off.

    2) Now has the passive DC augment option (2:1). This lets non-telepaths boost the DC by 3. (Telepaths, of course, can boost it as high as they can/want to.)


    Breach (R): This is the renamed form of Psionic Knock. Otherwise unchanged (except the word "closure" has been replaced with "something," potentially increasing what you can affect with this power; this is of course DM-dependent.

    Breath of the Black Dragon: The passive save DC augment option has been added (2:1 ratio). A straightforward buff to an already nasty ability. "Dodge this!" *blaaaaaurgh*

    Broker (N):
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    How can I say a brand new power is nerfed? Simple, because this weird little 1st-level power comes to us courtesy of Hyperconscious. You get a +2 insight bonus (augmentable) to your next Diplomacy check. The nerf comes in because you now have a rounds/level time limit to make that check in.

    Why do I say the power is weird? Well, you'd think a power that makes you more insightful around others would be Clairsentience, or at least Telepathy. This one is Psychometabolism. Someone explain that to me.


    Burst: As XPH, but can now be augmented to make you faster. It's expensive (4PP/10 ft.), but still an improvement, and not a bad use of your Swift.


    C

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    Call To Mind: You can now augment the Knowledge check (2:1 ratio.) Very nice for the loremonkey.

    Call Weaponry: Unchanged.

    Catapsi: Unchanged.

    Catfall: MASSIVELY buffed. You now subtract 50 feet from your fall, and 50 more with each PP spent on the augment. Have fun leaping off mountains and towers. (It's still just you though, so it isn't quite Feather Fall.)

    Chameleon: Buffed in two strong ways.
    1) Can now be augmented (2:1 ratio.)
    2) Boosts Stealth, i.e. Hide AND Move Silently. (Thanks, Pathfinder.)

    Charm, Psionic (R): See Empathic Connection.

    Clairtangent Hand: Unchanged.

    Clairvoyant Sense: Unchanged.

    Claw of Energy: Indirectly nerfed by the active energy type changes (i.e. you can only energize your active energy type, unless you're a kineticist/wilder.)

    Claws of the Beast:
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    YES! The clause (pardon the pun) that allows you to use these as secondaries to your manufactured weapons has been added. (Among other wordings, "You may use secondary natural attacks as normal when using your claw attacks as part of a full attack.") Note that you cannot be holding a weapon in any claw that you use in a secondary, as normal, and you can't use your claws as a primary if you attack with another weapon or another natural attack (e.g. Bite of the Wolf.)

    The augment is unchanged.


    Claws of the Vampire: Unchanged.

    Cleanse Body: This is effectively Psionic Lesser Restoration (which did not previously exist.) Why do we need the Wizard again? Note that this is a general power rather than an Egoist power.

    Cleanse Spirit (R):
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    This is the renamed form of Psionic Restoration. Egoists are much better healers in Pathfinder. Why? Because this baby can now be augmented to do all the cool stuff Greater Restoration does, that's why! (Before you shelve your cleric though, it's a lot more expensive for manifesters than for divine casters - Restoration is a 6th-level spell for Psions (instead of 4th-level for clerics) and GR is effectively 9th-level for Psions (instead of 7th-level for clerics.) Still, nice to have if Chirurgery isn't available for your psion... and because GR is an augment to a 6th-level power, it's available to all psions regardless of discipline. And of course, Overchannel and similar increases let you get GR at the same time as a cleric, if not even before.


    Cloud Mind:
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    Invisibility's red-headed stepchild got some nice buffs to help bring it up to par. Were they enough? You be the judge:
    This power is unchanged except for its very nice augments.
    1) Cast as an immediate action for 6 PP. Nice if something nasty is about to (or has just) noticed you.
    2) Affect one creature/ML if you spend 8 PP. Yes, Mass Cloud Mind has been rolled in, so you only have to learn one power now to get both effects. Of course, the wizard is attacking while invisible at this point, but one can't have everything.
    3) For every 2PP spent, this can cloud an additional creature. (Note: this is intended to be an active augment, but is worded as a passive augment, identical to the one below. By RAW you should get its effects for free if you use 1 or 2.
    4) For every 2 PP spent on 1-3, the save DC increases by 1.

    Still not fantastic, but definitely at least usable now.


    Compelling Voice (R): This is the renamed form of Psionic Suggestion. Unchanged except it has been granted a 2:1 passive save DC augment.

    Compression: Is now minutes/level baseline, augmentable to 10 min./level for the same price. Nice! Other parameters unchanged.

    Conceal Thoughts: Unchanged.

    Concealing Amorpha: Gained an augment, letting you protect creatures next to you. A reason to keep the casters in a cluster? (Or melee, if you're a psywar.)

    Concealing Amorpha, Greater: Same buff as above - otherwise unchanged.

    Concussion Blast: Unchanged.

    Contingency, Psionic (R): See Trigger Power.

    Control Air: Unchanged.

    Control Body: The nerfbat left this one pretty bruised.

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    1) Subjects now get to make a fort save every round you control them.

    2) Subjects are now treated as staggered - one move or one standard, under your direction. Good-bye iteratives.

    3) You can no longer target yourself. (This presumably extends to your psicrystal - not that you'd want to Control it anyway, considering (2).

    This power is now pretty much useless for anything except holding people still or moving them away from you. To top if off, it still specifies Intelligence bonus, so Wilders, Psywars etc. have no reason to take it except as a fort-negates Hold Person. (Though a Psyrogue/Lurk can make use of it to make casters helpless, assuming they can pass concentration to their psicrystals.)


    Control Flames: A minor buff - it now specifies key ability modifier instead of "Int for Psions and Cha for Wilders." This means that other manifesters can join the fun, should they so choose. The augments are unchanged.

    Control Light:
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    At first I thought this was buffed, as it is now specified as (Shapeable.) This gives you finer control over the area whose light you are modifying. However, the degree to which you can modify it has been sharply reduced - now you can only adjust the light a single step (e.g. normal light to dim light) rather than the extremes afforded by the XPH version. You still have the "1-round burst option" but that only applies if you increase by two steps, rather than increasing the light to a bright flash. (For example, you can raise "total darkness" to "normal light" for 1 round... the old power let you go from "total darkness" to "FLARE" instead.) And finally, you can't ever turn off darkvision with this, so lots of the things that you would want to be hiding from can still see you, even lowly dwarven sentries. A shame, but I would skip this now; stick with Chameleon unless you're hiding a group.


    Control Object:
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    Nice buffs here, in the form of augments:
    1) You can control additional objects (2PP:1 ratio). At high levels, feel free to fling an entire roomful of detritus at your foes.
    2) You can boost the weight of the object you control. Go ahead, animate that statue

    The power still says "Intelligence bonus" rather than "key ability modifier" sadly, so non-Psions may want to get their kicks elsewhere.


    Control Sound:
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    Unchanged actually, but buffed thanks to Pathfinder, since it affects Stealth instead of just Move Silently.

    It still doubles as Shatter too (just snap your fingers) so I'd definitely take this over Control Light. If your DM insists on a visual stealth option to go with it, get Chameleon.


    Co-Opt Concentration: Unchanged.

    Correspond:
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    Psionic Sending got a buff - you can augment the duration from rounds/lvl to 10 min./level. Useful for the chatty types. (I'd hate to be on the phone that long personally, especially in a dungeon...


    Cosmic Awareness (R):
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    This is the renamed form of Psionic Moment of Prescience. It's still shorter than the arcane version, but has been buffed to minutes/level instead of rounds/level. You can also augment it to hours/level, which brings it up to the same cost (level-wise) as the arcane version. Fantastic!


    Create Sound:
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    The "cantrip option" was added to this power. It works particularly well here because the scaling effects are based on ML rather than augment; this means you can create a dragon's roar for free at high levels. I'm sure a more creative mind than I can exploit this.


    Crisis of Breath: Unchanged (augments included.)

    Crisis of Life: The passive save DC augment has been added (2:1).

    Crystal Shard: Gains the "cantrip option."

    Crystallize: Unchanged.


    D


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    Danger Sense: Unchanged.

    Darkvision, Psionic (R): See Heightened Vision.

    Daze, Psionic (R): See Telepathic Lash.

    Death Urge:
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    The augmentation now has greater granularity. You augment the DC (2:1 ratio, instead of 4:2) with the duration augment being passive (1 round/+2 DC). Unfortunately, it still does not force monks to roundhouse kick themselves in the face. (It would be an auto-pick on all my psions just for that mental image.)


    Deceleration: Passive save DC augment added.

    Decerebrate: Unchanged (Though now, an Egoist can save you as well as a cleric.)

    Defy Gravity (R): This is the renamed form of Psionic Levitate. It's still self-only, except for Nomads, who gain the full effect (i.e. levitate themselves or others) at the increased duration.

    Deja Vu: Unchanged.

    Demoralize: Unchanged.

    Destiny Dissonance: Unchanged.

    Detect Hostile Intent: Unchanged.

    Detect Psionics:
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    Two nice augments added:

    1) Gains the "cantrip option" that lets you expend focus to manifest it for free.
    2) Adding 2 PP lets it function as Psionic Identify (Using Pathfinder's Identify as a base.)


    Detect Remote Viewing: Unchanged.

    Detect Teleportation: Unchanged.

    Dimension Door, Psionic (R): See Fold Space

    Dimension Slide: Unchanged.

    Dimension Swap: Unchanged.

    Dimensional Anchor, Psionic (R): See Wrench

    Disable: Unchanged.

    Disintegration (R): This is the renamed form of Psionic Disintegrate. The passive save DC augment has been added (finally.)

    Dismissal, Psionic (R): See Expulsion.

    Dismiss Ectoplasm: Unchanged.

    Dispel Psionics: Hooboy. A lot of the changes here are due to Pathfinder, so don't judge the DSP team harshly.
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    1) The area dispel is no longer baseline - it is now an augment. This is a Pathfinder change. (In PF, only GDM can Area Dispel.)
    2) Targeted dispel now only removes one power/spell at a time. You can name the effect you're aiming for (in which case, failure means you dispel nothing) or you can attempt a general dispel on that target (in which case, you check against the highest ML power active on that target and work your way down for each failure until you either successfully dispel something or you run out of effects to check against. This is also a PF change.
    3) You still can't "counterpower," in case you were wondering, nor counterspell. (It would be unfair if you could counter their stuff and they couldn't counter yours, I suppose.)
    4) Two 6PP augments allow you to upgrade this to one of the two Greater Dispel Magic Psionics options: this gives you either (a) the multi-spell dispel option + the remove curse option, or (b) the area dispel option. You cannot choose both with the same manifestation, even if you have sufficient ML to do so.
    5) The dispel check boosting augment has been removed. Now you must raise your ML to raise your dispel check.
    6) On the plus side, the dispel check is now uncapped. You can boost your ML as high as you want, and every point will count. Beware of Wilders!


    Dispelling Buffer: Unchanged.

    Dissipating Touch: Unchanged.

    Dissolving Touch: Unchanged.

    Dissolving Weapon: Unchanged.

    Distract: Has received the "cantrip option."

    Divert Teleport: Base range has been doubled (100ft. instead of 50ft.) Otherwise unchanged.

    Divination, Psionic (R): See Augured Answer.

    Dominate, Psionic (R): See Mind Control.

    Dream Travel: Unchanged.

    Duodimensional Claw: Unchanged (an augment here would have been nice...)


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    Ecto Protection: They specified in the text that it only works on your astral constructs, but that was RAW anyway from the target line. Otherwise, no change.

    Ectoplasmic Cocoon: Unchanged.

    Ectoplasmic Cocoon, Mass: Unchanged.

    Ectoplasmic Creation (R): This is the renamed form of Psionic Minor Creation. Otherwise unchanged.

    Ectoplasmic Creation, Major (R): This is of course the renamed form of Psionic Major Creation. Otherwise unchanged (why is Cold Iron banned, anyway?)
    There is a typo here: the table's footnote says "you can't use 'Major Modify Matter' to create a cold iron item" but there is no such power. So until they fix it, go nuts creating Cold Iron materials by RAW

    Ectoplasmic Form: Unchanged. It may be harder to make use of due to the Concentration changes though.

    Ectoplasmic Shambler: Unchanged.

    Ectoplasmic Sheen (R): This is the renamed form of Psionic Grease (and likely the cause of the renaming trend ) A powerful augment has been added - increasing the reflex save DC, and forcing a Strength check to stand up again if you fall. Note however that the same nerf that befell PF Grease was applied here, as this no longer makes stationary enemies flatfooted. This is bad news for rogues, but most manifesters will prefer the augment so I consider this a buff overall.

    Ego Whip: Unchanged.

    Elfsight: The "passive search" bit elves got has been rolled into Perception, so it was removed from this power. Instead, you get the same +2 bonus to Perception that elves get. Yours however is untyped - perversely, if you're an elf you can still benefit from this power by RAW.
    Also, the bonus for combining this with My Light has improved substantially (see My Light for details.)

    Empathic Connection (R): This is the renamed form of Psionic Charm. It now specifies that Mindlink lets you communicate your requests/commands to a creature whose language you do not speak (this was ambiguous before.) Otherwise unchanged.

    Empathic Feedback:
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    A Will negates save has been added (though it honestly should have been there before) and PR applies to the reflected damage now as well. On the other hand, the damage shared is now set to 1/4 incoming, rather than being capped at 5, allowing it to keep scaling as you level (You need to take a lot of damage to reap the benefits though - at less than 24 damage, this is strictly worse than the XPH version.) The augments alleviate this: 3PP raises it to 1/2 incoming, and 6PP raises it to full incoming. You're probably better off dealing damage another way though even so. (If it was Will partial I'd consider it.)


    Empathic Transfer: Unchanged.

    Empathic Transfer, Hostile: The amount of HP transferable per augment point was cut in half (5 instead of 10) and the maximum was lowered (from 90 to 70.) I'm not sure why - the power was decent but not broken, at least to me, but maybe someone can point out an interaction I missed.

    Empathy: The second augment was clarified - the hour/level option stays active in the background, and you simply have to concentrate to gain the benefits. This was probably intended in 3.5, but the way it was worded you would have had to concentrate on it for hours to be able to use it.

    Empty Mind: Unchanged.

    Energy Adaptation:
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    The protection has been accelerated - granting resist all 20 at 7 and 30 at 11 (instead of 9 and 13 respectively.) This may be a typo, since you need ML 7 to manifest it in the first place, so there won't ever be a situation where it grants 10 resistance with the current wording - but I won't tell if you won't. (Personally I think it was meant to be: 7th = 10, 9th = 20, 11th = 30.)

    This is no longer subtyped - which makes sense, because it protects against all of the energy types at once, so subtyping it was silly to begin with (it would have all of them.)


    Note: A number of "Energy" powers follow at this point. These are all subject to the default energy type nerf I mentioned at the beginning of the Powers section (except for Energy Adaptation/Conversion.) In other words, manifesters may no longer choose the energy type when the power is manifest - rather, they choose an energy type each morning, and must consciously change it by gaining psionic focus. Wilders can temporarily change it by surging, after which it reverts to their default as well. Only Kineticists are exempt from this rule; for them, Energy powers work just as they did in 3.5 - they can choose the energy type on the fly like they always did.

    I am restating this change here to save time; if I write "Unchanged" next to an Energy power, I actually mean "unchanged except for this nerf." If it applies to a given energy power in a different way than presented above, I will point that out.

    Energy Adaptation, Specified: Unchanged.

    Energy Ball: Unchanged.

    Energy Bolt: Unchanged.

    Energy Burst: Unchanged.

    Energy Cone: Unchanged.

    Energy Conversion: It now specifies that you can run out of stored energy damage (and thus be unable to fire rays.) This was almost certainly how the XPH version worked though, so I don't consider it a nerf. Note that the default energy type does NOT apply to this; you can fire a ray of any type you have absorbed without needing to refocus or surge in between shots to change the element.

    Energy Current: Secondary targets now have a lower save DC to beat to take half damage, instead of the same DC as the primary. Otherwise unchanged.

    Energy Missile: Objects you target with this must now be unattended. The sonic missile was great at sundering, too...

    Energy Push: Unchanged

    Energy Ray: This gains the "cantrip option," with damage reduced to 1d3 if you use it that way. Otherwise unchanged.

    Energy Retort: Unchanged.

    Energy Stun: Unchanged.

    Energy Wall: Unchanged.

    Energy powers done with, whew!

    Ensconce (R): This is the renamed form of Psionic Sequester. The XP cost has been removed, and no GP cost has been added to take its place. Enjoy hiding your phylactery astral seed

    Entangling Ectoplasm: Affected targets can now break free with a Strength Check or Escape Artist check, as a move action. Augmenting the power helps prevent this but any chance to get free is worse than none. (It doesn't help that both strong and agile types have an accessible way out.)

    Eradicate Invisibility: A passive save DC augment has been added.

    Escape Detection: Unchanged.

    Ethereal Form (R): This is the renamed form of Ethereal Jaunt. Otherwise unchanged.

    Ethereal Form, Greater (R): This is the renamed form of Psionic Etherealness. Otherwise unchanged.

    Ethereal Passage (R): This is the renamed form of Psionic Phase Door. Otherwise unchanged.

    Evade Burst: Unchanged.

    Exhalation of the Black Dragon: Unchanged.

    Expansion: The best Psywar power got better - it is now min./level instead of rounds/level. The duration augment still increases it to 10 min./level.

    Expulsion (R): This is the renamed form of Psionic Dismissal. Otherwise unchanged.


    F

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    Fabricate, Psionic (R): See Modify Matter.

    Fabricate, Greater Psionic (R): See Modify Matter, Greater.

    False Sensory Input: Unchanged

    Far Hand: Gains the "cantrip option."

    Fate Link: Unchanged

    Fate of One: Unchanged

    Feat Leech: Some key changes here.
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    You no longer leech feats = Wis mod; you get two. However, the save DC augment now also increases the number of feats you can steal. For the Wis-based manifesters (Psywars, Ardents, Society Minds etc.) this is a nerf, but for the others (like Psions and Wilders) this is a buff. So all-in-all, it evens out.


    Fiery Discorporation: Unchanged

    Fission: Some changes here; overall this has been buffed I think.
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    - Your duplicate now simply has a -2 ML instead of two negative levels. This is good news, because it means he has the same skill mods, attack bonus, saving throws etc. as you.

    - Your duplicate is clarified to have the same HP you did when you manifested the power.

    - When you rejoin, your HP are averaged with the duplicate's HP, instead of you taking half the damage it took. You still cannot be killed this way (though you can be reduced to -9.)

    - The negative levels penalty for you or your duplicate dying stays in effect. However, in keeping with Pathfinder, none of these levels convert to level loss.

    - Detrimental effects on your duplicate still do not transfer to you if it dies; however, such effects will now stay on it if you die.

    - When the fission ends, HP damage is no longer added together. (see "averaging" above.) For example, if you and your duplicate had 30 HP, then you each took 5 damage - under the WotC fission, you would end up with 20 HP at the end (30 - (5+5) = 20) In Pathfinder, you would instead each take 5 damage (bringing you to 30 - 5 = 25) and then average those ((25+25)/2 = 25.)


    Flight (R): This is the renamed version of Psionic Fly. Has been made identical to Pathfinder Fly. I am unsure if the addition of the Fly skill counts as a nerf or not; I'll update when I look into this more.

    Float: Gains an augment letting you boost your swim speed. Torpedo!

    Fly, Psionic (R): See Flight.

    Fold Space (R): This is the renamed form of Psionic Dimension Door. Otherwise unchanged (including the Move action augment.)

    Force Screen: Unchanged

    Form of Doom: Minor clarification: Your form is no longer "recognizably your own" - in fact, it isn't recognizable at all (save as a tentacled monstrosity), though the bonus to disguise checks to not look like yourself has not been increased. This is also one of the nicer bits of artwork in PsU.

    Fortify (N):
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    This appears to be a new power (at least, I can't find it anywhere...) It works like the Resistance cantrip, only double strength, lasts min./level and can be augmented for a bigger boost. While a nice addition to the arsenal, I'm probably going to stick with Defensive Precognition. (It is worth noting however that they stack, and this is cheaper to augment.)


    Fuse Flesh: Unchanged

    Fusion: HAAA! (sorry, couldn't resist.) XP cost has been removed, and not replaced with a GP equivalent.


    G

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    Genesis:
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    Minor nerf/clarification: everything not specifically listed as modifiable is as the Material Plane now, not just the Time trait. Buffed however, as you no longer have to pay XP - instead you just suffer a special negative level (that doesn't interfere with manifesting Genesis) which goes away when the power is complete.


    Graft Weapon: Unchanged

    Grease, Psionic (R): See Ectoplasmic Sheen.

    Grip of Iron:
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    Another classic Psywar power gets a buff. The augment is now more granular, letting you boost your check by 1 per 2 PP, instead of only 2 per 4 PP. The wording of the bonus was also adjusted to better fit PF (since grapple is a combat maneuver now.)


    H

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    Hail of Crystals: Minor clarification - the reflex save now specifically only applies to the explosion of the crystal and not the RTA. This should be obvious (at least to me) but DSP thankfully covered their bases anyway.

    Hammer: The more i read this the more complicated it gets.
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    A little-known trick from 3.5 has been removed - the ability to make iteratives with your hammer-touch. Hammer is now instantaneous and lasts for a single attack, instead of lasting a round. In addition, the augment now adds additional attacks instead of additional rounds -meaning the power does not scale nearly as well with your BAB anymore. However a new augment has been added, letting you buff the damage with every two points spent. In addition, the power has been also been changed to a standard action. However, it now lasts until you make a touch attack, so potentially indefinitely. (You could, for instance, manifest this right before bed, fully augmented, and start the next day fresh with a bunch of very painful pokes in case someone engages you in melee.) Whether this is a nerf or a buff depends on how you were using it before, so I'll leave it at neutral. I may have to make a separate thread just to discuss this power.


    Heightened Vision (R): This is the renamed form of Psionic Darkvision. This power has received the same buff that Pathfinder gave to magic darkvision - i.e. you can now see in magical darkness with it.

    Hustle: Unchanged, still awesome.

    Hypercognition: Unchanged


    I

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    Id Insinuation: This one's tricky, and if Jeremy is still around, could use some clarification.
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    The power itself is identical to the XPH, but the actual confused condition has been altered in Pathfinder (this applies to the PF Confusion spell as well, among other effects.)
    To summarize:
    1) In PF, confused creatures treat everyone as enemies. Their allies must succeed on a touch attack to buff or heal them. ("Don't touch me!") This is a flat buff.
    2) Pathfinder has a modified table for the Confused condition, but Id Insinuation uses the old table from 3.5. To further complicate the issue, Id Insinuation afflicts targets with the confused condition. Depending on your interpretation, this could have one of three effects:
    a) Use the Confused table
    b) Use the power's table
    c) Roll on both. (This is RAW, since the power both inflicts the Confused condition and has its own table, but overpowered in my opinion.)
    3) The new table removes "attack/move toward the caster" and replaces it with "attack self." However, the chance of "act normally" has been increased from 10% to 25%.

    The augment is unchanged.


    Immovability: Unchanged

    Incarnate:
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    Psionic Permanency has been given a Pathfinder makeover, eschewing XP costs for GP ones. Good news for DMs - the gp formula has been included, so no need to fiddle with the calculator to find out how much other powers, or augmented powers, would cost to make permanent.

    The clause from permanency that prevents dispels unless the dispeller is a higher level has thankfully been added.

    As with Incarnate, only personal-range powers have examples, but the text itself allows just about any power (just as with Permanency.)


    Inertial Armor: Has now been given the Force descriptor, though it should have had that to begin with. Otherwise unchanged.

    Inertial Barrier: Unchanged (Should have been swift imo.)

    Inflict Pain: Unchanged

    Insanity, Psionic (R): See Psychosis.

    Intellect Fortress:
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    A new augment has been added, that now lessens damage taken from breath weapons as well as powers and spells. Before, this power would have no effect on BWs at all (they are usually supernatural and thus ignore SR/PR.)

    A visual display has also been added, oddly enough. I'm not sure whether that's a nerf, or just adds cool when your eyes glow.


    Iron Body, Psionic (R): See Body of Iron.


    K

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    Keen Edge, Psionic (R): See Sharpened Edge.

    Knock, Psionic (R): See Breach.

    Know Direction and Location: Has been given the cantrip option. My favorite thing about it though is the awesome illustration it got.


    L

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    Leech Field:
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    This now works against area powers too; best of all, it now explicitly functions against spells as well. (The wording of the power previously prevented this.) A pair of handy buffs.


    Levitate, Psionic: See Defy Gravity.
    Last edited by Psyren; 2013-02-20 at 12:31 PM.
    Alphonse Elric by Fay Graydon
    Extended Sig (Handbooks/Creations)
    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    First, please don't start threads with ideas you don't support just to see what reactions you get. That's almost the definition of trolling.

    Second, the whole "blue text" thing is not a forum rule or even a recommended procedure. If someone wants to do it in their own posts, fine, but everyone should stop telling people that they "need to" or "should have" posted in blue just because they're being sarcastic/ironic/whatever.

  10. - Top - End - #10
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    Default Re: Pathfinder Psionics vs. XPH Psionics - A Handbook

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    Major Creation, Psionic (R): See Ectoplasmic Creation, Major.

    Matter Agitation: Unchanged

    Matter Manipulation:
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    Heavily modified, and I'm not sure the finished product is what the designers intended.
    In brief, the changes to this power were clearly intended to make it balanced without the XP cost drawback, which was removed. So you can still harden or weaken items as before, but now it has a duration. The degree to which you can harden or weaken has also been capped, even across castings.

    Thankfully, there is an option to spend much longer (an hour) manifesting the power - doing so makes MM instantaneous again like the 3.5 version. All well and good, but it doesn't appear to override the casting cap!

    If you overlook that potential oversight and uncap the instantaneous version... well, either the duration or the casting time is still bad, and at the level you get this 250 xp shouldn't be a huge problem anyway. So overall, I'd say nerf.


    Memory Modification (R): This is the renamed form of Psionic Modify Memory. A small clause was added to avoid limiting rationalization for illogical modified memories to bad dreams and alcohol (thus allowing, say, warforged to dismiss this as well) though it should honestly work that way anyway.

    Mental Barrier: Unchanged

    Mental Disruption: A third augment has been added, increasing the duration of the daze on affected targets.

    Metaconcert: Where to begin. This is another that might deserve its own thread.
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    1)The largest change - metaconcert no longer creates a separate entity that manifests for you, instead merely creating a network (and making you admin.)

    2) The conductor (usually, you) is now the originator of all the powers. Whether this is bad or good depends on what you were using the entity to do before.

    3) There is no separate creature that has to deal with negative effects; make saving throws, take ability/HP damage, be counted for effects that depends on number of creatures etc.

    4) The conductor has to choose between using his actions to manifest his own powers (using his private reserve), or those of the network (using the collective pool.) If your table had ever ruled that the entity gets its own actions, then this is a nerf. Though you can of course make someone else the conductor and keep your actions, preferably someone who wouldn't be manifesting anyway.

    5) Individuals without the designated number of PP instantly drop out of the network. You must be this tall to manifest! Sorry, Soulknives and Psicrystals. This could also be bad if one individual with lots of powers known - say, an Erudite - is running on empty.

    6) Cumulative members no longer increase the save DCs of powers manifested by the network. However, each one increases the conductor's ML instead when manifesting from the network. The higher augments this enables can be used to increase the DCs instead, and more importantly, more members are now useful even to powers without a save.

    7) The conductor cannot apply his own feats or class features to metaconcert powers, so no Wild Surging if a Wilder is the conductor etc. This isn't really a nerf since you couldn't do it with the original either, but it's good that they spelled that out. Interestingly however, items are now allowed; so a psionatrix or torc worn by the conductor could be applied to the metaconcert powers normally.

    8) The conductor can now choose to distribute damage throughout the network or not. Choice is always good. Furthermore, HP damage can now be distributed in addition to ability damage. Individuals can choose not to receive damage, and best of all, the division happens before damage reduction and similar effects. (Note: powers that ignore PR cannot be divided.)

    9) As there is no longer an "entity," the saving throw bonus vs. powers now applies to all the members instead. This even applies to powers that are PR: No.

    10) It is now impossible to gain more PP from a metaconcert than you entered with, even if the remaining concert pool divided by the number of members results in a higher total.

    11) The "move together" rules have been updated. You now move at half the speed of the slowest member of the concert. In most cases, this will be faster than the previous hard cap of 10 feet; in addition, because it scales with that member's speed, you can buff everyone (e.g. with Haste) and go even faster as a group.

    12) The augment was overhauled - it now allows additional members to enter the metaconcert. It also increases the duration and radius of the effect, letting the constituents spread out.

    Whew! I'm not a fan of all the changes, but overall this was a well-done revision, and should clear up a lot of the questions surrounding how the power actually works. I still won't label it as a buff or nerf though, as again that would depend on how you were using it before.

    My Erudite Concerto trick can still work with this new metaconcert, but you will definitely need outside help this time. (i.e. the Erudite cannot be the conductor and still reap the benefits.)

    Random note: the mental display was removed for some reason.


    Metafaculty: The XP cost was removed (as is standard for PF), instead forcing you to take 2 points of ability burn to your manifesting stat. Determining whether this is a buff or nerf seems game-specific to me.

    Metamorphosis: Okay - this one (or more accurately, these four), I'll definitely leave for another thread; It's too extensive a change to go into here. Don't bother looking at Pathfinder Polymorph or Shapechange; it's different from that too. The closest analogue I can find is actually Astral Construct, in that you pick abilities from a series of menus to apply to your character, with the ability to trade in abilities from higher menus for multiple choices from lower.

    One solid nerf though - you can't turn into objects anymore. No idea why.

    Metaphysical Claw: Unchanged; still only applies to claw and bite natural attacks (and not, e.g. to tails).

    Metaphysical Weapon: Unchanged

    Microcosm: The augment now has triple-strength for the area usage (i.e. +30 per PP spent instead of +10.)

    Mind Blank/Personal Mind Blank (R): See Barred Mind and Personal Barred Mind respectively.

    Mind Control (R): This is the renamed form of Psionic Dominate. You no longer need to augment it to increase the duration from Concentration to days/ML. The other augments are unchanged. This is now pretty much strictly better than Dominate Person, giving Telepaths a powerful edge over Enchanters.

    Mind Probe: A new augment has been added that increases the range of this power substantially (from Close to Medium.) Combine this with the fact that will saves do not stop the power and you get a pretty deadly recipe. Another boon for Telepaths.

    Mind Seed: A couple of buffs here:
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    1) The power now scales with your size (so a psionic dragon could mind seed another dragon, for instance.) Only your natural size is considered, so no Expanding first.
    2) The second usage - to counter/cleanse another manifester's Mind Seed - now has no size restrictions at all. This was a clause that the first power needed. (e.g. if you were medium and mind-seeded by, say, an evil Elan in 3.5, and the only telepath you could find who knew the power to remove it was a Dromite, you were SOL unless you could get your hands on Wish etc.)
    3) The XP cost has been removed, and the manifester simply gets a negative level that doesn't go away on its own (but can be removed.) Since (a) the XP cost was pretty hefty and (b) negative levels are not nearly as bad in Pathfinder, this is a net gain.


    Mind Switch: Two key changes here.
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    1) The XP cost has been removed, and you simply have a negative level while in your new body. (As with the others, you can remove this one without penalty.)
    2) If you Mind Switch while already Mind Switched, your previous victim now returns to his old body and the new one switches with your original body. In effect, it's like you end the existing power each time before hopping. This should reduce a lot of confusion at the gaming table, as there will no longer be a chain of displaced unfortunates between the PCs and the Telepath using this.


    Mind Switch, True: Two more key changes. Telepaths have it cushy in Pathfinder.
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    1) The massive XP cost has been removed; you now suffer two negative levels while in your new body. Unlike the one from Mind Switch, these do fade over time (1 per day) or you can remove them earlier if you're in a hurry.
    2) Instead of level loss if either you or your victim dies, you suffer negative levels instead. One for your victim if you die (he lives on in your old body) and TWO for you if your victim dies (you live on in his body.)

    This means that if you TMS someone and then immediately kill your old body, you will suffer a whopping 4 negative levels. However, these can be instantly removed (even by you if you know the right powers or spells to do so) leaving you free to continue your unnatural existence without penalty.


    So the million dollar question: Does the Psionic Sandwich trick still work?
    The answer is yes (as all the components, even PAO, still work); but there's no real reason to use it anymore since TMS doesn't have a prohibitive XP cost. Well, unless you want to be a sandwich that badly anyway.

    Moving on...

    Mind Thrust: Unchanged.

    Mind Trap:
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    Now functions against all mind-affecting attacks, not just telepathy powers. Creatures without PP (either because they have none left to lose, or they are non-psionic) are nauseated for one round instead of losing PP. This does not require you to be specifically targeted, so area attacks (e.g. Enthrall) should be affected as well. I'm also not sure how this works against indirect attacks, like Illusory Script - one more for Jeremy to clarify I suppose.


    Mindlink: Unchanged

    Mindlink, Thieving: Unchanged. Interestingly, the power specifies that the "mental communication ends" if you borrow a power, but not the mindlink itself. Depending on your interpretation, that could allow you to keep borrowing powers from the subject for the duration even though you cannot talk to them anymore. A great way to dig utility powers out of an Erudite's head.

    Mindwipe:
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    This is less powerful simply because of how negative levels work in Pathfinder, i.e. you no longer delete powers or PP from the subject's mind, and in fact have very little effect on their ability to manifest at all. The wording has even been tweaked to reflect this. It has also been clarified that all the negative levels (not just two) go away after an hour.

    I think this is one of those powers that the DM is probably more likely to use than the player anyway (similar to Apopsi) so this is probably a good thing from the player's perspective.


    Minor Creation, Psionic (R): See Ectoplasmic Creation, Minor.

    Missive: The "cantrip augment" has been added; otherwise unchanged.

    Missive, Mass: Unchanged

    Modify Memory, Psionic (R): See Memory Modification.

    Moment of Prescience, Psionic (R): See Cosmic Awareness.

    Modify Matter (R): This is the renamed form of Psionic Fabricate. Unchanged.

    Modify Matter, Greater (R): This is the renamed form of Greater Psionic Fabricate. Unchanged.

    My Light: Several buffs here:
    1) The range has been doubled (to 40 feet.) For the first 20 feet it functions normally, while for the second it raises the prevailing light level by one step (e.g. dim light -> normal light.)
    2) Using it with elfsight doubles it yet again, going to a whopping 80 feet. (40 normal, 40 one-step.)
    3) Has gained the "cantrip augment."
    4) No longer autofails in magical darkness; the strength (or weakness) of the darkness effect is now a factor.


    N

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    Natural Healing (N): This new power is a much cheaper self-heal for Egoists than Body Adjustment. I still prefer Vigor though. Remember that Egoists have the tools to heal others with this, making it more efficient for them than Touch of Health from CPsi.

    Natural Linguist (R): The new form of Psionic Tongues. Well, it's a bit weaker (only one language at a time, though it can be augmented to include more) and mind-affecting to boot, but it also comes online sooner than magical Tongues does. A decent trade-off. Combos with Missive, Compelling Voice and other LD spells/powers.

    Null Psionics Field: Unchanged


    O

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    Oak Body: Unchanged

    Object Reading: Unchanged

    Overland Flight, Psionic (R): See Sustained Flight.


    P

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    Painful Strike: Unchanged

    Personality Parasite:
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    The hostile second mind now attempts other mental actions (e.g. casting spells) as well as manifesting powers. This gives it (and you) added utility against non-psionic foes. Its actions are still purely mental, which limits what it can do, but if your foe has any supernatural abilities (e.g. a Binder or Shadowcaster), SLAs, or even still+silent spells prepped, it can wreak some serious havoc.


    Phase Door, Psionic (R): See Ethereal Passage.

    Pierce the Veils (R): This is the renamed form of Psionic True Seeing. It is otherwise unchanged.

    Planar Travel (R): This is the renamed form of Psionic Plane Shift.
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    An augment has been added that improves the accuracy of this power by reducing the number of d% to be rolled when arriving at your destination; fully augmented, it effectively becomes the travel portion of Gate (i.e. you arrive exactly where you intend to go, without needing to have seen it previously, and not needing a focus.) Very nice buff!


    Plane Shift, Psionic (R): See Planar Travel.

    Power Leech: Unchanged

    Power Resistance: Unchanged

    Precognition: The power is now discharged when you use your "edge." This is probably how it was supposed to work before, but it is explicit now.

    Precognition, Defensive: Unchanged

    Precognition, Greater: The effect is not discharged when used with the higher version, but you are restricted to a number of "edges" = your ML with each manifestation.

    Precognition, Offensive: Unchanged

    Prescience, Offenisve Unchanged. Honestly these two could have been rolled together imo.

    Prevenom:
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    The Con damage has been changed from a "Burst" to a "DoT" effect, to borrow my MMO vocabulary; instead of immediately inflicting 2 Con damage, it inflicts 1 per round for 2 rounds. The augment now increases the duration instead of the potency (and it is cheaper), but it does make it more likely that an opponent will fail at least one fort save, since there are multiple saves standing between them and the poison. I can't label this one a flat buff or nerf, it's more a playstyle thing.


    Prevenom Weapon: See Prevenom for changes.

    Prowess: Unchanged. Possible typo; they left in the redundant "this is an immediate action" text here that they've been removing from the other swift and immediate powers.

    Psionic Blast The duration augment now passively increases the DC as well.

    Psionic Lion's Charge: Unchanged. Psywars are still kings of pounce.

    Psionic Lock: Unchanged

    Psionic Repair Damage (R): See Reconstruction.

    Psionic Revivify:
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    Interesting change here. As there are no more XP costs or level loss in PF, the power has been altered somewhat radically. Your subject instead comes back with a negative level that fades after 24 hours. (This makes revivifying 1st-level characters impossible, though that shouldn't be too much of a problem at level 9.) In addition, the window can still be extended, but instead of both parties paying XP for the privilege, you now pile additional negative levels onto your subject - one negative level for every 2 additional rounds of extension. In most cases this is good (you don't pay any XP or GP yourself at all now) but keep in mind that every 2 rounds of extension also limits the level you can bring back. Overall though I feel it is a buff.

    One more improvement - you can now augment this power to revive Outsiders too.


    Psionic Scent: This power benefits from Pathfinder's removal of the Track feat. Feel free to toss some ranks into Survival if you plan on using this. (Very flavorful for Feral Path Psywars.)

    Psychic Chirurgery:
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    Oddly, it includes the "you can restore lost levels" wording from 3.5 even though such level loss does not exist in Pathfinder. Possible typo. It also contradicts itself, first by saying you can remove all negative levels affecting a subject ("regardless of how it lost those levels") and then imposing a window on permanent negative levels from level drain or death - a window that Cleanse Spirit aka Restoration, a lower level power, does not share. This one could use a rewrite I think.

    For the transfer powers option, there are key changes as well, due once again to the removal of XP costs in PF. Instead of paying XP, you take ability burn to your manifesting stat equal to the power's level. The burn can be split with the receiving player, only they will take the damage to their manifesting stat. This will tend to discourage the transfer of higher-level powers. The powers you can transfer are also capped by the receiver's ability score, but this may or may not be an improvement over paying XP for each one.

    Finally, you are prevented from doing this if you or the subject is suffering ability burn - this typically means you can only transfer one power every X days. This at least is an unambiguous nerf.


    Psychic Crush: The augment now passively increases the save DC as well as the damage.

    Psychic Drain (R): This is the renamed form of Psychic Vampire. Otherwise unchanged.

    Psychic Reformation:
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    Now specifically lets you reselect spells as well as powers. In addition (instead of paying XP), you now gain stacking penalties remarkably similar to negative levels, as well as losing HP. These penalties fade after 24 hours. You can also augment the power to either clear the penalties after a night's rest instead (8 hours), or even not suffer them at all. At high levels you can thus reconfigure your/someone else's character on a whim every 10 minutes provided you have the PP to do so. Best of all, these penalties now only affect the subject, so you can actually reform the whole party without impacting your own performance (save for the PP loss.) A great power gets better.


    Psychic Vampire (R): See Psychic Drain.

    Psychofeedback: This power has been massively buffed, to the point that it not only becomes usable, but I would argue becomes a must-pick.
    Spoiler
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    1) You no longer take ability burn to the decreased scores, taking normal ability damage instead. This can of course be immediately healed, or you might already be immune to it to begin with depending on your race. By repeatedly Feedback-burning and restoring yourself, you can boost each of your physical scores.

    2) An augment has been added that delays the ability damage until after the power ends. In this way you can get a huge buff and not pay for it until the battle is over.

    3) A second augment boosts the duration from rounds to minutes/lvl.

    4) A final augment causes the ability damage to autofade on its own when the power expires. This applies even if you damage multiple scores to boost one.

    I believe this is now worthy of its spot as a 5th-level power.


    Psychokninetic Sphere (R): This is, naturally, the renamed form of Psionic Telekinetic Sphere. It is otherwise unchanged.

    Psychoport (R):
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    This is the renamed form of Psionic Teleport. Similar to Planar Travel, an augment has been added that increases the accuracy of your arrival, negating the need for learning both this and Greater Psychoport unless you're travelling somewhere you've never seen/scryed before. It still does not, however, apply to false destinations. (i.e. places that don't really exist.)


    Psychoport, Greater (R):
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    This is the renamed form of Psionic Greater Teleport. It is unchanged. If you're not a Nomad and/or don't want to pick up Psychoport with a feat, this one is much more reliable, but with the buff Psychoport has gotten and the increased feats in PF I would stick with that one.


    Psychoport Trigger (R): This is the renamed form of Teleport Trigger. Otherwise Unchanged.

    Psychoportation Circle (R): This is the renamed form of Psionic Teleportation Circle. Otherwise unchanged.

    Psychosis (R):
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    This is the renamed form of the psionic power Insanity. Oddly, this power uses the Pathfinder Confusion table while Id Insinuation does not. It is otherwise identical to Id Insinuation except permanent, so please see that power for changes (including the "allies must attack to touch target" buff.)


    Q

    Quintessence: Unchanged

    R

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    Read Thoughts: A save DC augment has been added.

    Reality Revision: A couple of changes here.
    Spoiler
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    - RR can no longer create magic/psionic items. A similar change was made to Pathfinder Wish.

    - The 5000 XP cost has been replaced by a 25,000 gp cost. This is again in line with Pathfinder Wish.

    - RR can now duplicate spells as well as powers (6th level and below.)

    - When duplicating a lower-level power with RR, instead of merely heightening the save DC, the power is treated as if augmented to at least 17. For powers that allow a save, the effect is the same - however, what this also lets you do is choose augment options for those powers that have them. For instance, manifesting Reality Revision: Cloud Mind would give you 14 PP worth of augments to play with, letting you choose the immediate action manifestation and/or clouding multiple creatures in addition to having a higher DC.

    Powers with no augments simply have their save DC elevated to that of a 9th-level power.


    Other stuff is as PF Wish. Ultimately I feel the pluses outweigh the less favorable changes, and it still has the advantage over Wish of not needing to speak. Consider your reality, and it is so.

    Recall Agony: Unchanged

    Recall Death: Unchanged

    Reconstruction (R): This is the renamed form of Psionic Repair Damage. Otherwise unchanged.

    Reddopsi: The rules clarifications are welcome, and there seem to be buffs (and a small nerf) here.
    Spoiler
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    - Reddopsi can now affect spells. Seemingly to balance this, there is a cap on how many PP or spell levels it can affect now. It is however unclear exactly what happens if a given spell or power exceeds this cap.

    - The rules-vague interaction if both you and your target are protected, has been replaced with a much clearer table that the DM rolls on instead. What's more, the results of the resonance are a little more favorable for you than simply being subject to the enemy's power. (I say a little, because chances are you might be less thrilled at being yanked off to a random plane along with your enemy.)


    Remote View Trap: Unchanged

    Remote Viewing: Not only has the XP cost been removed, you can also move your viewpoint by augmenting the power, potentially moving to a better vantage point or avoiding detection. Very nice buffs.

    Restoration, Psionic (R): See also Cleanse Spirit (and Cleanse Body.)

    Restore Extremity: Unchanged

    Retrieve: Unchanged


    S

    Spoiler
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    Schism:
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    Your second mind can no longer use or benefit from your primary mind's psionic focus. This means, among other things, that your secondary mind cannot use metapsionics. This may have been how it worked in 3.5, but now it is explicitly stated. It can, however, still gain a focus for you (provided you have Psionic Meditation to speed up the process.) Another nerf - on any round in which your secondary mind acts, your primary mind takes a -2 ML penalty. Thankfully, your second mind still doesn't provoke AoOs, which is very handy given how much more dangerous those are in Pathfinder and how much harder it is to cast defensively. This power's taken a few hits.


    Second Chance: You can now augment this to improve your reroll (an insight bonus.) Sweet!

    Sense Link: A new augment lets you hijack unwilling creatures. Combined with the ability to lend them your senses, you're all set for some serious mindscrew.

    Sensitivity to Psychic Impressions: Unchanged

    Sequester, Psionic (R): See also Ensconce.

    Shadow Body: the bonus to manifest and avoid detection now applies to your Stealth check instead of just your Hide check.

    Share Pain: Unchanged

    Share Pain, Forced: Unchanged

    Sharpened Edge (R): This is the renamed form of Psionic Keen Edge. Otherwise unchanged.

    Shatter Mind Blank: Now explicitly affects magical mind blanks too. Even better, you can now specify certain blanks in the area to be left intact - e.g. yours or those of your allies. Great buffs!

    Skate: Gains a multi-target augment. Take that, Expeditious Retreat.

    Slip the Bonds (R): This is the renamed form of Psionic Freedom of Movement. Otherwise unchanged.

    Solicit Psicrystal: Unchanged

    Steadfast Perception: Unchanged

    Stomp: Now has the passive save DC augment.

    Strength of my Enemy: Unchanged

    Suggestion, Psionic (R): See also Compelling Voice.

    Suspend Life: Unchanged

    Sustained Flight (R): This is the renamed form of Psionic Overland Flight. It is otherwise identical to the PF spell.

    Sustenance: Unchanged

    Swarm of Crystals: Unchanged

    Synesthete: Unchanged


    T

    Spoiler
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    Telekinetic Force: Huge buffs, due largely to rolling Telekinetic Thrust into this power. They should have all been recombined imo, but reducing it to two is a step in the right direction. The wordings of TF and TT are unchanged.

    Telekinetic Maneuver: Now uses key ability modifier instead of Intelligence modifier, opening it up to other classes. The wording has also been modified to use PF's CMB stuff.

    Telempathic Projection: Two buffs - skill consolidation means this affects some other checks (like Gather Information), and a save DC augment has been added.

    Telepathic Lash (R): This is the revamped form of Psionic Daze.
    Spoiler
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    Even the fluff of this power has been overhauled, from a mere mental clouding to a full-on psychic assault. The standard HD-increasing augment is still here, and there is also a duration-increasing augment (which, pumped enough, will stun the target instead of dazing.) Finally, the power has been blessed with both the passive save DC augment and the cantrip augment.


    Teleport X (R): See "P" for "Psychoport."

    Temporal Acceleration: Unchanged

    Thicken Skin: Now a natural armor bonus.

    Thought Shield: Unchanged

    Time Hop: Unchanged

    Time Hop, Mass: Unchanged

    Time Regression: The XP cost has been replaced with 2 points of ability damage to each ability score. As this is not ability burn, you should be able to remove it with ease at that level.

    Timeless Body: Unchanged

    Tongues, Psionic (R): Remade as Natural Linguist.

    Tornado Blast: Now uncapped. Wreak havoc!

    Touchsight: Unchanged

    Tower of Iron Will: Unchanged

    Trace Psychoport (R): This is the renamed form of Trace Teleport. Otherwise unchanged.

    Trigger Power (R): This is the renamed form of Psionic Contingency. The XP cost has been removed.

    True Creation: Instead of paying XP, you take ability burn to your key ability score. As your ability scores are more under your control, this is a buff. In addition, items less than 50gp cause no burn at all.

    True Metabolism: Unchanged

    Truevenom: The ability damage has been reduced (1d8 to 1d3) but the duration has been extended (from 2 "ticks" to 6). This has the result of raising the total ability damage that can be done from 16 Con to 18. So why isn't this a buff? Well, the downside to more ticks is more fort saves - and the target making even one ends the entire effect.

    Truevenom Weapon: See Truevenom for changes.


    U

    Spoiler
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    Ubiquitous Vision: Unchanged

    Ultrablast: Unchanged. Nothing about increasing the save DC, sadly.

    Unravel Psionics (N): Sweet, Psionic Disjunction! And it's a general power! Amusing trick - you can arguably get around the "these abilities cannot be restored by mortal magic/power" clause, by having an immortal fix you instead - say, an Elan with Psychic Chirurgery, PAO or Reincarnate. Get ready for CRBs to be thrown at you though if you try this.


    V

    Spoiler
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    Vampiric Blade: Unchanged.

    Vigor: Unchanged.


    W

    Spoiler
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    Wall of Ectoplasm: Unchanged.

    Wall Walker: Unchanged.

    Weapon of Energy: As with Claw of Energy, this was indirectly nerfed by the active energy type change.

    Wrench: (R) This is the renamed version of Psionic Dimensional Anchor. Otherwise unchanged.
    Last edited by Psyren; 2013-02-18 at 06:24 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    First, please don't start threads with ideas you don't support just to see what reactions you get. That's almost the definition of trolling.

    Second, the whole "blue text" thing is not a forum rule or even a recommended procedure. If someone wants to do it in their own posts, fine, but everyone should stop telling people that they "need to" or "should have" posted in blue just because they're being sarcastic/ironic/whatever.

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    Default Re: Pathfinder Psionics vs. XPH Psionics - A Handbook

    Reserved #10, feel free to post away
    Alphonse Elric by Fay Graydon
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    First, please don't start threads with ideas you don't support just to see what reactions you get. That's almost the definition of trolling.

    Second, the whole "blue text" thing is not a forum rule or even a recommended procedure. If someone wants to do it in their own posts, fine, but everyone should stop telling people that they "need to" or "should have" posted in blue just because they're being sarcastic/ironic/whatever.

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    Default Re: Pathfinder Psionics vs. XPH Psionics - A Handbook

    I'll be listening. Would like to know what they are like from others to better make a judgement.
    Will you be listing how they might be better and worse than XpH?

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    Default Re: Pathfinder Psionics vs. XPH Psionics - A Handbook

    I'm just wondering if the Soulknife has been salvaged or if I'm better off with a Psychic Warrior still.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mulletmanalive View Post
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    Quote Originally Posted by Starbuck_II View Post
    I'll be listening. Would like to know what they are like from others to better make a judgement.
    Will you be listing how they might be better and worse than XpH?
    Overall the classes are better, and certainly the races are better. Some leaks have been plugged in the powers (notably Bestow Power and Feat Leech, among others) to cut down on some of the exploits so lovingly detailed in Kalaska's Psionic Tricks handbook. And some just plain work now that didn't before (hai2u, Metaconcert!)

    But all in due time

    Quote Originally Posted by Cieyrin View Post
    I'm just wondering if the Soulknife has been salvaged or if I'm better off with a Psychic Warrior still.
    Oh, it has been salvaged But whether you are better off with a Psywar depends on your personal preference. Psywars are still stronger, simply because gish melee > non-gish melee. That's a law of 3.5. that has not changed here.

    But if you're asking "can the Pathfinder Soulknife hold its own now?" The answer is an emphatic yes.
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    First, please don't start threads with ideas you don't support just to see what reactions you get. That's almost the definition of trolling.

    Second, the whole "blue text" thing is not a forum rule or even a recommended procedure. If someone wants to do it in their own posts, fine, but everyone should stop telling people that they "need to" or "should have" posted in blue just because they're being sarcastic/ironic/whatever.

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    Default Re: Pathfinder Psionics vs. XPH Psionics - A Handbook

    Quote Originally Posted by Cieyrin View Post
    I'm just wondering if the Soulknife has been salvaged or if I'm better off with a Psychic Warrior still.
    The new Soulknife is awesome. Twin Strike is cool, Furious Charge is amazing, new Psychic Strike is amazing. I think the new Soulknife is probably the best class for a dual-wielder ever written in d20. Ok, maybe I'm going too far.

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    Default Re: Pathfinder Psionics vs. XPH Psionics - A Handbook

    Quote Originally Posted by Psyren View Post
    Oh, it has been salvaged But whether you are better off with a Psywar depends on your personal preference. Psywars are still stronger, simply because gish melee > non-gish melee. That's a law of 3.5. that has not changed here.

    But if you're asking "can the Pathfinder Soulknife hold its own now?" The answer is an emphatic yes.
    Excellent. I can pull out one of my favorite characters, EVAR, again, a Thri-kreen Soulknife/Nomad, and have him do more than make the Prince of Persia look like a jumping chump.
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    Default Re: Pathfinder Psionics vs. XPH Psionics - A Handbook

    Quote Originally Posted by true_shinken View Post
    The new Soulknife is awesome. Twin Strike is cool, Furious Charge is amazing, new Psychic Strike is amazing. I think the new Soulknife is probably the best class for a dual-wielder ever written in d20. Ok, maybe I'm going too far.
    You might not be wrong. Dual-wield doesn't actually have that much good support, at least not contained in a single class. You can make it good by pulling across like seven sources, but there isn't really a single thing you can hand to somebody and say "You want to dual-wield? Here, use this, you'll be alright." Especially not a base class (Tome of Battle classes are a tolerably close imitation, tho.)

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    Default Re: Pathfinder Psionics vs. XPH Psionics - A Handbook

    Quote Originally Posted by tyckspoon View Post
    You might not be wrong. Dual-wield doesn't actually have that much good support, at least not contained in a single class. You can make it good by pulling across like seven sources, but there isn't really a single thing you can hand to somebody and say "You want to dual-wield? Here, use this, you'll be alright." Especially not a base class (Tome of Battle classes are a tolerably close imitation, tho.)
    (Mystic) Ranger does it pretty well and it's a base class, but you need splatbook support to get the good spells.
    And even then, Unleashed Soulknife does it better.

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    Default Re: Pathfinder Psionics vs. XPH Psionics - A Handbook

    Quote Originally Posted by tyckspoon View Post
    there isn't really a single thing you can hand to somebody and say "You want to dual-wield? Here, use this, you'll be alright."
    Well, there's Revenant Blade.
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    Default Re: Pathfinder Psionics vs. XPH Psionics - A Handbook

    Psion breakdown finished. Whoo, that took a while! For those of you waiting with bated breath for Wilders and Soulknives, not to worry - they are coming
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    First, please don't start threads with ideas you don't support just to see what reactions you get. That's almost the definition of trolling.

    Second, the whole "blue text" thing is not a forum rule or even a recommended procedure. If someone wants to do it in their own posts, fine, but everyone should stop telling people that they "need to" or "should have" posted in blue just because they're being sarcastic/ironic/whatever.

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    Default Re: Pathfinder Psionics vs. XPH Psionics - A Handbook

    Okay, So far, reading part 1:
    Only Cons so far
    Skills nerfed (authohypnosis mostly as fear/poison benefits require additional roll).
    No longer energy powers on the fly (with Kinecist/Wilder exception).

    Hmm, so Astral Construct wasn't nerfed like Complete Psionics? That is a relief.

    So far so good.

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    Default Re: Pathfinder Psionics vs. XPH Psionics - A Handbook

    Racial analysis is done. Color coding: Blue = better, Black = Neutral, Red = Worse. (Though as with all things my rankings are open to debate.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Starbuck_II View Post
    Okay, So far, reading part 1:
    Only Cons so far
    Skills nerfed (authohypnosis mostly as fear/poison benefits require additional roll).
    No longer energy powers on the fly (with Kinecist/Wilder exception).
    What made it more annoying was it was a stealth nerf, like how WotC tried to slip that Astral Construct thing past us and then give us back our own abilities with a mediocre PrC

    It's not really that big a deal, but given that many of psionics' disadvantages vs. magic remain (I'm looking at you, stacking metamagic) we didn't need to lose any more of what we had just to make a single discipline look better.

    Quote Originally Posted by Starbuck_II View Post
    Hmm, so Astral Construct wasn't nerfed like Complete Psionics? That is a relief.
    Believe me, that was one of the first things I checked All looks well on that front though.
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    First, please don't start threads with ideas you don't support just to see what reactions you get. That's almost the definition of trolling.

    Second, the whole "blue text" thing is not a forum rule or even a recommended procedure. If someone wants to do it in their own posts, fine, but everyone should stop telling people that they "need to" or "should have" posted in blue just because they're being sarcastic/ironic/whatever.

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    Default Re: Pathfinder Psionics vs. XPH Psionics - A Handbook

    You'll want to fix the bullet point list for the Half-Giant. Also,

    Quote Originally Posted by Psyren View Post
    [SIZE="4"][*]Their Energy Ray is now 1/2 HD manifester level, rather than being stuck at 1. Yeah! (Though it's still 1/day. Boo.)
    It was never stuck at manifester level 1.

    Quote Originally Posted by SRD
    Psi-Like Ability: 1/day—energy ray. A dromite always deals the kind of energy damage that its chitin has resistance to (for example, a dromite who has resistance to cold 5 deals cold damage with its energy ray). Manifester level is equal to ˝ Hit Dice (minimum 1st). The save DC is Charisma-based.
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    Work on my homebrew system, CRE8, is still marching slowly onwards. I think I can see the light at the end of the tunnel -- an Alpha release -- in the distance now. Read my Design Goals here.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Draz74 View Post
    (Dromite quote)

    It was never stuck at manifester level 1.
    I corrected that, but the SRD actually says "Manifester Level 1st" which is where my mistake came from. The correct text (which you quoted) comes from the XPH. I think that's an error on Jans' part.

    When I get a breather (I'm currently at work) I'll update the Psywar.
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    First, please don't start threads with ideas you don't support just to see what reactions you get. That's almost the definition of trolling.

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    Default Re: Pathfinder Psionics vs. XPH Psionics - A Handbook

    I LITERALLY just bought this book and was wondering last night if they had changed/nerfed/buffed the Psionic classes or not. It's like you knew...you...knew...I'm watchin you...srsly...can't wait for you to update this more, especially since we have a Soulknife in our PF party right now and I'm sure he'll want to convert over to this stuff REAL soon
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    Default Re: Pathfinder Psionics vs. XPH Psionics - A Handbook

    Quote Originally Posted by Psyren View Post
    [*]Giant Blood - they now count as both Human and Giant, similar to Half-Elves and Half-Orcs. Able Learner anyone?
    What does Able Learner do in PF?
    Quote Originally Posted by Psyren View Post
    [*]Natural Sailors: Bonuses to Swim and Profession (Sailor) of all things (Why would a PC need that? Just hire a ferryman ) They can also move around on a ship deck more easily, with Climb and Acrobatics bonuses on boats. Random, but a buff's a buff.
    At least in 3.5, Profession (Sailor) was one of the most useful professions for a PC (granted, still not a great investment). Otherwise, seems to fit their new seafarer image.
    Quote Originally Posted by Psyren View Post
    [*]Their Burst is now a swift action to activate - a phenomenal buff. Fire it off and double move!
    Wasn't it free action in 3.5?


    Anyhow, really nice handbook, and I love what they've done to blues.
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    Default Re: Pathfinder Psionics vs. XPH Psionics - A Handbook

    Whoa, really curious to see what they changed with wilders. Love the new psion goodies at least!

    I don't mind the energy focus change so much, it's more flavorful this way. What about psionic feats though? That's matters almost as much as the classes themselves.
    Please read and evaluate the changes I'm trying to smooth out in this thread: http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=154036

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    Default Re: Pathfinder Psionics vs. XPH Psionics - A Handbook

    This is almost too tangental to even talk about, but I'm curious about why Elans (formerly) being Aberrations made getting into Beholder Mage easier? I thought Aberration type's greatness was just about Alter Self shenanigans and immunity to spells whose names end in Person. PAO doesn't do anything beneficial for being the same type as the new form, and neither do Mind Switch or Metamorphosis.
    Last edited by FMArthur; 2011-01-10 at 08:45 AM.
    • Chameleon Base Class [3.5]/[PF]: A versatile, morphic class that mimics one basic party role (warrior, caster, sneak, etc) at a time. If you find yourself getting bored of any class you play too long, the Chameleon is for you!
    • Warlock Power Sources [3.5]: Making Hellfire Warlock part of the base class and providing other similar options for Warlocks whose powers don't come from devils.

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    Default Re: Pathfinder Psionics vs. XPH Psionics - A Handbook

    I was initially distrustful of the new Soulknife, but Psyren convinced me to look at it with different eyes and I must say it's awesome.

    About xeph burst, as Greenish, I always thought it was a free action. I just checked the SRD, though, and it's a supernatural ability with no action listed, so it would be a standard action. It's weird, I always always thought it was a free action.

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    Default Re: Pathfinder Psionics vs. XPH Psionics - A Handbook

    I am looking with interest, at this one; I might not have converted to PF but if it buffs the Soul Knife (one of my favourite classes fluff-wise) then I need to see it.

    And ophidians seems to be the kind of race I would like.
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