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    Default [3.5] Zen Psionics: Mastering the Meditant

    So I've always been interested in WotC's Meditant PrC, and sat down to make myself a little guide to its meditation mechanic so I could play it more effectively. That guide ended up turning into a full-fledged Meditant Handbook, so I threw in some nifty graphics and such and decided to post it up. I hope the Playground enjoys reading it as much as I did writing it, and I hope it endears the class to those of you looking for a powerful psionic PrC you may not have tried yet.

    I've got some more handbooks simmering in the back of my head, and may end up doing the entire 3.5 Mind's Eye archive if the mood strikes me. Hey, I've got to keep myself busy somehow while waiting for Psionics Expanded


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    Last edited by Psyren; 2011-12-07 at 01:19 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: [3.5] Zen Psionics: Mastering the Meditant

    Zen Psionics: Mastering the Meditant



    Contemplate the Rainbow. Taste the Rainbow.

    “We tend to think of meditation in only one way. But life itself is a meditation.” -Raul Julia

    Contents
    • Introduction
    • Glossary
    • The Meditation Mechanic Explained
    • The Meditant
    • Strategy
    • General Tips
    • Sample Configurations



    Introduction: Why Meditant?


    The Meditant is a psionic PrC from WotC’s excellent “Mind’s Eye” series of articles. I was immediately impressed with its robust chassis and suite of powerful buffs, yet the class itself wasn’t quite as straightforward as I would like. I thus began writing a brief guide as an aid to myself to work through its mechanics, and decided to spruce it up and publish it for the benefit of anyone else who was interested.

    What makes meditants fun is how versatile they are, both crunch- and fluff-wise. They can add to value to a variety of entrants (with Psion and Psywar getting the most benefit), while their fluff is generic enough to fit just about any background/concept as well. (Which caster/manifester/gish, or even mundane with a spiritual bent, doesn’t meditate?) Best of all, the Meditant is one of very few official psionic PrCs to lose less than two ML, and so is worth a look for that fact alone.


    Pros: 9/10 manifesting; medium (3/4) BAB; untyped, long-duration, supernatural buffs to a variety of attributes; other useful class features (including an effective alternative to the Psion Uncarnate.)
    Cons: Low HD (d4), 1 ML lost on entry, adds no proficiencies, low skill points, needs lots of down-time initially, feat-intensive qualifications.

    Even if you’re a gish, don’t let the small HD deter you; Consitution and temporary HP will give you a much bigger boost than dice ever will, and this class can get nice and lasting boosts to both.


    Requirements:
    - Concentration 9 ranks
    - Manifester Level 5th
    - The Psychic Meditation and Deep Psychic Meditation feats. You'll need PM once and DPM 3 times, the maximum number of times you can take it.

    Due to the number of feats required, entering at the earliest possible level (ECL 6) can be rough on classes without bonus feats (though still doable); however, the feats themselves do provide nice benefits on their own for any manifesting class, so at least you're not totally setting them on fire.

    Note: do not confuse these with Psionic Meditation from the XPH/SRD.
    Last edited by Psyren; 2011-12-06 at 11:23 AM.
    Sandharrow by Chris the Pontifex
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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: [3.5] Zen Psionics: Mastering the Meditant

    Glossary (Psychic Meditation terminology you’ll need to know):

    Center: If you’re familiar with Hinduism/Buddhism, you know what a center is - an area of the body associated with a certain force or concept. (These are also called chakras - but don’t confuse them with the chakras used by Incarnum, or those of certain orange-jumpsuited ninjas.) I’ve attached the WotC diagram here so that you can see them in order:


    The 7 centers are named as follows: (1) Crown, (2) Third Eye, (3) Throat, (4) Heart, (5) Solar Plexus, (6) Base, and (7) Sacral.

    Your centers must be each be “awakened” before they can be used (see “Awaken” below.)


    Awaken: To awaken a center is to prepare it for use. Doing so requires a long period of inactivity (8 hours of meditation for each center) so try to find some adventure downtime as soon as possible after acquiring each feat to do this. While not called out in the text of the feat itself, the article’s flavor text seems to indicate that sleeping and meditation are treated separately; talk to your DM, but even if this is the case in your campaign (i.e. you cannot sleep and meditate simultaneously, basically costing you a day or more when you want to awaken your centers), it’s still worth it because you’re unlikely to have to pay this time cost often. Furthermore, there are ways to get around this limitation depending on your choice of race.

    There is a limit to how many centers you can have awakened at one time. If you have reached this limit (and do not yet have access to all 7), you must “reset” an awakened center in order to replace it with a new one. Once awakened, a center stays that way forever until it is reset (see “Reset” below.)

    The four feats needed to enter the Meditant PrC will enable you to awaken all 7 centers. (1+2+2+2 = 7).

    Note: Awakening a center is not the same as activating it (see “Activate” below.) Awakening a center provides no special benefits apart from enabling it for activation later.

    Reset: This refers to clearing a center of awakened status. Being supernatural, this is a purely mental standard action that does not provoke. When you’re too low a level to have all 7 awakened at once, resetting a previously-awakened center allows you to awaken a different one for alternate benefits. However, the Meditant PrC provides you with additional scenarios under which you may want to reset a center - these will be discussed further below.

    Finally, all of your centers are involuntarily reset if you fall below 0 HP, so be sure to prevent this from happening by any means necessary; this goes treble if you’re currently getting a boost to Con from the Base center.

    Activate: This is the heart of the mechanic. To activate a center means to use it (also a standard action that does not provoke, like resetting one,) gaining a buff depending on the specific center you’ve chosen. The buffs you gain, being part of the feat, are also supernatural and therefore cannot be dispelled; you can however lose them in an AMF/NPF. As mentioned earlier, you can only activate an awakened center. Doing so does not reset that center, so you don’t have to spend the time awakening it again no matter how many times you activate it in a day or over the course of your career.


    The Meditation Mechanic Explained

    As previously stated, a center’s benefits are triggered by activating it, and last for 1 hour. You can continue to activate the same center as long as you have enough activations remaining to do so, even before a previous activation’s duration has expired; the bonuses provided will explicitly not stack with existing activations (even if untyped), but any remaining duration will reset to an hour. This means that once you gain enough activations, you can keep a center more or less activated throughout the adventuring day, so long as you take an action to manually refresh it. However, center do experience diminishing returns; each time in a day that you activate the same center, it will cost you an extra activation to do so. (2 for the second time, 3 for the third and so on.) Spreading out your activations across multiple center lets you conserve activations. Fluff-wise this is explained by focusing on one center to the exclusion of the others being unbalancing and draining to you.

    There are three ways to gain activations/day:
    - The Psychic Meditation feat (1)
    - The Deep Psychic Meditation feat (6 total: 2 per feat, can be taken 3x)
    - The Meditant PrC (10 total: +2 every 2 levels for 10 levels.)

    This gives you a grand total of 17 activations pre-epic, 7 of which come from feats alone rather than any levels in the PrC. As for what activations do, I’ll add a brief summary here by center:

    Crown: Natural Armor bonus to AC
    Third Eye: Temporary PP (scales with ML)
    Throat: Untyped bonus to mental stats
    Heart: Temp HP (scales with ML)
    Solar: Morale bonus to saves; slightly larger bonus to one of them.
    Base: Untyped bonus to physical stats
    Sacral: Power Resistance, scales with ML

    Because you gain 7 activations before even entering the class, you have access to these buffs before actually becoming a Meditant. You can choose whether to concentrate them on one or two centers for a day of adventuring, or spread them out for some hour-long buffs across a variety of areas. (You can even, if you choose, activate each of your centers for an hour per day.) Though it burns through your activations more quickly, I favor the first option; especially since you’ll have limited centers awakened anyway until you can amass all four feats. I’ll go into a bit more of the math on this in the Strategy section; for now I’ll cover the Meditant class itself.
    Last edited by Psyren; 2011-12-07 at 01:57 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: [3.5] Zen Psionics: Mastering the Meditant

    The Meditant


    The meditation feats are nice and all, but lets be honest - this class is the reason you’re even taking them to begin with. So, let’s examine what it gives you in-depth to see if it’s worth the feat expense.

    Chassis: d4 HD, 3/4 BAB, 9/10 manifesting, 2+Int skills, good Will save.
    Class Skills: Autohypnosis, Concentration, Diplomacy, Knowledge (any), Profession (any), Psicraft, Sense Motive.


    Class Features
    Inner Peace: Each level of Meditant reduces the time to awaken a center by 30 minutes, for a total of -5 hours per awakening at the capstone. You may be wondering why you’ll need a buff to awakening your centers when you’ve probably already awakened all 7 prior to even joining the class. (Read on to find out why.)

    With this ability, a regular awakening is reduced to 3 hours per center, IM is reduced to 5 hours, and DIM is reduced to 6 hours. (See “Intense Meditation” below.)

    Meditative Sustenance (Su): By contemplating your navel for an hour, you can do without food and drink for a whole day. Flavorful and handy in the right campaigns; combos well with Ethereal Form.

    Deeper Psychic Meditation: More activations! You need as many of these as you can get; this is the primary reason to continue taking this class into epic, should your game go that high. Would have been better if they gave you 1/level instead of 2/2 levels, but one can’t have everything.

    Intense Psychic Meditation: This ability is why you’d want to reset your centers after accessing all 7. While meditating to awaken a center, you can invest 2 of your activation uses; doing so will “prime” the center, increasing the strength of its buffs once you activate it later. Those 2 invested activations will stay locked into that center until the center is reset. If you’re familiar with Incarnum, this is a bit like investing essentia into a feat or class feature to make it stronger. While invested, these activations are unavailable for use, and your total number of activations is permanently decreased until you divest them from that center.

    At 7th level, you can invest 3 activations instead of two for Deeper Intensity, getting the maximum potential out of a given center in exchange for further limiting the number of activations you get.

    Further analysis spoilered for length:

    Spoiler
    Show
    If all your centers are already awakened (as they probably were before you entered Meditant) you will need to reset one in order to prime it with this ability, followed by taking the time to meditate and reawaken it. Note that priming a center for Intensity in this way adds 2 hours to the meditation time.

    At the time you get this ability (Meditant 3), you should have 9 activations total (7 from your feats and 2 from Meditant 2.) You can therefore have up to 4 centers primed for Intense activation. Priming all four, however, will reduce your total activations to 1; in other words, you’ll only get to actually use one of your centers, and then only for an hour! Since centers do nothing unless activated, this represents wasted potential. In short, this is where the true strategy of the class comes into play; you’ll have to balance the number of activations you can play with (and thus, the duration/variety of your meditation-buffs) with the power you gain from each one via Intense Activation.

    At the time you get Deeper Intensity (Mediant 7), you should have 13 total activations (7 from feats + 6 from Meditant levels.) This adds another layer of strategy, as you can now choose to gain a lesser benefit from each Intense center for an extra hour of activation time. Deeper Intensity centers also take an additional hour to awaken. See the combined table I posted in the strategy section for a summary of all the ways you can activate your centers.

    My personal advice is to pick 1-3 key centers you’ll use above the others, prime these for Intensity (or Deeper Intensity, once you get it) and use the remainder of your activations keeping those buffs active at key times throughout the adventuring day. An alternative strategy is to prime more centers, and wait until combat to decide which ones to activate. This technique gives you a bit more flexibility as to which buffs you can get coverage with (for instance, you wouldn’t need the Sacral center if you’re not fighting a spellcaster, but if you do end up against one you’ll have it available), but if combat catches you unprepared this method can force you to burn a standard action or more activating your buff(s).

    Experiment and see which approach works best for your playstyle/campaign.


    Prepared Mind (Su): While focused, you can reflect single-target mind-affecting attacks back to their originator if you successfully save. Note that it says effects, not spells; this gives you a much wider variety of eligible effects to repel, like supernatural abilities (such as a Ghaele’s gaze attack) so long as they are single-target.

    Ethereal Form (Su): 3/day, you can activate this ability to become ethereal (taking all your gear with you), and stay that way for as long as you want. (Psion Uncarnate, eat your heart out.) You could spend the rest of your life ethereal if you choose; with Meditative Sustenance, you never have to worry about starving while ethereal.

    Practically, this ability (in addition to just being cool/fun) has more defensive applications than offensive. You can use it as a panic-button to get away from a nasty situation (like being grappled by something mean, caught in a cave-in/nasty trap/prison etc.) You can also just leave it active as you float alongside the party, using it to scout (you are invisible/soundless, and can walk through walls/floors/etc. but can still see just fine 60 feet into the material) or get the drop on foes who don’t realize there’s another member of the party lurking on a coterminous plane. It also gives you perfect flight, so use it to cross chasms, traverse large bodies of water, walk through lava or what have you. And unlike merely being incorporeal, even if baddies can see you you’re totally immune to their magical effects (save force and transdimensional spells/powers.)

    The downside, of course, is that they’re also immune to all of your stuff, so you’ll have to shift back to contribute to combat most of the time. Though you can at least do so fully-buffed, and from a nice clear corner of the battlefield, or right in the middle of the enemies’ casters if you’re a gish meditant. With the right powers (like Schism) you don’t even need to waste actions doing this, as activating it is a purely mental ability.

    Inner Harmony (Su): The phenomenal class capstone. Inner Harmony requires that you have all 7 centers awakened, and grants the following benefits:
    - Activating a center may be done as a swift action. Note the “may” - which means you can still choose to activate a center as a standard action, i.e. you can activate two centers in one turn, or more with action manipulation. Now you can pretty much wait until combat starts before switching on some of your centers, helping you conserve activations.
    - Each activation lasts 4 hours instead of 1 - quadruple the duration! This greatly obviates the increasing cost of activating the same center multiple times in a day, and makes the stat-buff centers especially (i.e. Throat and Base) much more attractive to keep going throughout the day.
    Last edited by Psyren; 2011-12-06 at 04:46 PM.
    Sandharrow by Chris the Pontifex
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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: [3.5] Zen Psionics: Mastering the Meditant

    Strategy: Maximizing your Meditation

    Now that you know how the class works. the question then becomes which centers to activate, and for how long.

    First, for reference, here are some abbreviations I’ll use in this section.

    HP: Hit Points
    PP: Power Points
    ML: Manifester Level
    NA: Natural Armor
    PR: Power Resistance
    PM: Psychic Meditation
    DPM: Deep Psychic Meditation
    IM*: Intense Psychic Meditation (i.e. invest 2 activations)
    DIM*: “Deep Intense Psychic Meditation” (i.e. invest 3 activations)

    Secondly, the center activation buff tables are broken out across both articles; for ease of use, I’ve recombined them here.

    {table=head] Center (Stat) | Psychic Mediation | Intense Psychic Meditation|Deep Intense Meditation
    Crown (AC) | +3 NA bonus | +5 NA bonus | +7 NA bonus |
    Third Eye (PP) | +1/Manifester Level | +1.25/ML, round down |+1.5/ML, round down|
    Throat (Mental) | +2 Int, Wis and Cha (untyped) | +4 Int, Wis and Cha (untyped) | +6 Int, Wis and Cha (untyped)|
    Heart (Temp HP) | +2/Manifester Level (Max 40) | +2/ML and Fast Healing 1 (Max 40) |+2/ML and Fast Healing 2 (Max 40)|
    Solar (Saves) | +2 Morale to chosen save, +1 morale to others | +4 Morale to chosen save, +2 morale to others** |+5 morale to chosen save, +3 morale to others**|
    Base (Physical) |+2 Str, Dex and Con (untyped) |+4 Str, Dex and Con (untyped) |+6 Str, Dex and Con (untyped)|
    Sacral (SR/PR) | 5 + Manifester Level | 10 + Manifester Level |15 + Manifester Level|
    [/table]

    * Require Meditant levels (Meditant 3 and 7 respectively)
    **The table doesn’t actually specify morale for the secondary saves for IM and DIM, but good luck getting that by your DM.


    Your key buffs are going to vary quite a bit based on build. For instance, a gish Meditant will be more interested in the untyped bonuses to physical stats than a caster Meditant would. I’ll leave it to you to ultimately decide, and just share some thoughts I have on each center (and its usefulness when primed for IM/DIM.)

    Ratings Key:
    Good
    Okay
    Weak
    Avoid

    Spoiler
    Show
    Crown: This is extremely useful early on (Natural Armor bonuses can be difficult to come by at low levels), and a great way to get some mileage out of the Psychic Meditation feat prior to entering Meditant. It’s like a free Barkskin potion at level 1 that refills itself every day, lasts longer, and that you can activate without digging it out of your bag or drinking it, actions which would both provoke. Later, it stacks with the amulet of natural armor you're likely to have (thanks NineThePuma) meaning it can stay useful at mid-high levels.

    Its main problem is coverage, similar to the Throat and Base centers, but having more AC is seldom a bad thing even if you have trouble keeping it on all day.

    Intensifying it is unlikely to be worth your activations; often, Third Eye is the better choice defensively as you can pick up miss chance or a temp HP buffer that way via your powers. Not to mention, it does not add to your touch AC. But if you do want a more defensive meditant and don't care about the stat boosts (read: save DCs) then by all means use this one. It also can't be dispelled.
    Usefulness: Feat only, IM, DIM.

    Third Eye: This is perhaps the most universally-appealing basic center, particularly for PP-starved Psywars. You can never have enough PP, and since you get a fresh set of temporary points for every activation, this is a great one to fire off repeatedly throughout the day. You can even store them in cognizance crystals indefinitely (note that by RAW, only YOUR reserve returns to normal when the duration expires) or simply Bestow them targeting yourself or another manifester in the party to refill a permanent reserve. Or even just spend them on longer-term buffs. The possibilities are nigh-endless; just be sure you use them all, because they don’t stack/accumulate.

    Intensifying this center causes the PP you gain to scale somewhat faster with your ML. However, I wouldn’t bother Intensifying it; at level 20, IM gets you a mere 5 additional PP (1.25*20 = 25) while costing two of your activations (2.5 extra PP per activation: compare to using those same 2 PP to simply trigger it again for a full 20 more temp PP instead.) DIM is little better, giving you 10 for 3 (3.33 per activation) and requiring you to tie up an extra activation in awakening. So I’d say leave this one basic.

    My preferred strategy (especially at later levels) is to focus on other buffs, and put a leftover activation (if you have one) into this. While an hour of the other buffs at the wrong time or the end of the day can easily be wasted, there’s never a wrong time to have more power points so long as you have ways to use them. (Throw them in a Cog crystal, heal everyone up, make some quintessence, poison your weapons, do some divinations etc.)
    Usefulness: Feat only, IM, DIM

    Throat: Untyped bonuses to mental stats are very hard to come by, and you can get up to +6 to each of them - This is like getting 18 Wishes(!), albeit less permanent (without continuous reactivation anyway.) This comes into its own later in the game, particularly after you get Inner Harmony and can keep it up all day. Definitely one to prime at later levels.

    For the most part, you'll only care about the one stat pertaining to your class, but it's nice to have this up for certain skill checks.
    Usefulness: Feat only, IM, DIM

    Heart: This one doesn’t impress me. Temp HP are nice and all, but you can get WAY more by picking Third Eye and simply casting Vigor (5/ML instead of 2/ML.) An hour or more of Fast Healing would be nice, but the only way to get that is to tie up precious activations priming it. Finally, by the time you get access to them, the Fast Healing 1 and 2 just aren’t going to be worthwhile except outside of combat, when you have plenty of other ways to heal. I would skip this.

    If you got the Fast Healing - even just FH 1 - without needing to prime it, this would be fantastic, like carrying an eternal wand of lessor vigor with you every day, especially if you can Empathic Transfer everyone's wounds onto yourself.
    Usefulness: Feat only, IM, DIM

    Solar: Bonuses to saves are nice, especially since the Meditant only has one good save. The problem here is that the bonuses are typed (morale, which are easy to get - e.g. having a bard, or Heroism potions) and won’t stack with any other source that provides one. If for some reason you don’t have a way to get a morale bonus to saves then you can give this a look, but you’re better off with another center once you do. Also, it doesn’t scale well.
    Usefulness: Feat only, IM, DIM

    Base: The physical score buffs. Even pure manifesters will like this for the boosts to Con and Dex (HP, saves, initiative etc.) Gishes, naturally, will want to prioritize this even more, even activating it prior to entering Meditant for the useful boosts to attack, damage and survivability. Like Throat, this gets much better once you achieve Inner Harmony.

    As this one governs concentration checks, two saving throws, and various other benefits, it's almost better than Throat even for manifesters. (And if you use no-save powers exclusively, it IS better.)
    Usefulness: Feat only, IM, DIM

    Sacral: Power Resistance. With ML boosts, this can get pretty high and last much longer than the power of the same name. Still, if you’re going to use it, best to go all in or not at all.
    The feat version gives you perhaps the earliest non-race access to PR in the game, but it is ridiculously easy to overcome. (1d20+1 vs. DC 6, or 75% chance to beat it.) Still, that’s 25% “miss chance” for spells at level 1 and can potentially save you from that shocking grasp or sleep, even if it does rapidly degrade with level, so you can think about using it that way.
    Usefulness: Feat only, IM, DIM
    Last edited by Psyren; 2011-12-28 at 10:14 AM.
    Sandharrow by Chris the Pontifex
    Ext. 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: [3.5] Zen Psionics: Mastering the Meditant

    General Tips

    Buff Durations
    For one center, here are the number of activations you need for specific durations:

    - 1 hour: 1 activation
    - 2 hours: 3 activations (1+2)
    - 3 hours: 6 activations (1+2+3)
    - 4 hours: 10 activations (1+2+3+4)
    - 5 hours: 15 activations (1+2+3+4+5), but you get Inner Harmony here (at which point, multiply each of these durations by 4.)

    The maximum time you can keep a single center active pre-epic therefore is 4 hours before Inner Harmony, and 20 hours once you get it. However, you have to manually refresh every 4 hours and most races need to sleep for 8, so for practical purposes your maximum usage of one center with Inner Harmony will be 10 activations (16 hours, or a whole day of adventuring.) This leaves you with 5 activations; you can invest 3 of these to Deep Intensify the center you’re keeping active for 16 hours (leaving you with two that you can divert to two other centers), or you can invest 2 of these to merely Intensify that center and activate another center twice.

    Alternatively, you can presume that you won’t spend 16 hours of every day in combat, and instead go with a lesser amount of activation time. Say, 12 hours (6 activations), which will let you keep two centers active for that time concurrently (12 total) and have 5 left over for priming.


    Additional Tips
    - Activating a center is a purely mental action. This means you can have your Schism do it while your primary mind manifests powers, and not worry about Schism’s ML-reduction.
    - After you get Inner Harmony, you can activate your centers as a Swift action. As stated above however, this is optional - and since it’s easier to get additional standard actions than additional swift actions (Twinned Synchronicity, Schism etc.) sometimes it’s more worthwhile to save your swift for manifesting and activate as a standard instead.


    Sample Configurations


    Here are some sample configurations/builds that I can recommend. Don’t take these as gospel however - there are a ton of combinations and the true fun of the class is in experimenting. Also, depending on how much combat you have in your campaign and how predictable it is, you may need less or more coverage of certain centers.

    Remember that you aren’t locked in to any of these; use one for awhile then try another until you find the one that works best for you. Mix things up!

    Spoiler
    Show
    -Max PP: This one focuses on squeezing as much juice out of Third Eye as possible; you don’t care about stat boosts, you care about ammunition. This build typically works best with no-save powers (e.g. those from seers, egoists and psywars.) Duration is unimportant to you, because you can burn through your PP as quickly as you get them; either through long-term buffs, using them to refill your own (or someone else’s) reserve, long-distance travel, action abuse, storing them in cognizance crystals, healing up the party etc. Or you can just fire it off at the start of combat (using extra actions, e.g. Quickened Synchronicity/Temporal Acceleration/etc. if necessary), burn through the free PP then and wait for the next fight.

    - 17 activations total
    - Intense Third Eye: 2 activations (1.25/ML per use, i.e. +25 PP per use at ML 20).
    - 5 uses: 15 activations (1+2+3+4+5)
    - Total bonus PP: 125 (equivalent to 7 extra 9th-level slots.)

    You want to boost your ML as high as possible with this setup - every point gives you proportionately more PP. For instance, boosting your ML to 30 gets you 185 PP total, an increase of 60 PP for +10 ML. (equivalent to 6 more 9th-level slots.) Unlike your normal bonus PP for high ML+ability score, temporary boosts work too (activate the boosts, then your Third Eye.)

    What’s really nice about this build is that it works nearly as well before you get Inner Harmony, or even Intense Meditation. Because it’s not dependent on keeping your buffs on throughout the day or from one combat to the next, you can save each individual activation until a fight starts, or fire off any leftover ones at night for some healing, quintessence or other long-duration benefit.


    -Max DC: This setup tries to achieve maximum coverage of your mental stat boosts. +6 to all your mental stats every day is equivalent to manifesting Reality Revision on yourself 18 times (and stacks with same, or anything else.) This works best for primary manifesters, especially those using powers that require a save (e.g. telepaths and kineticists).

    -17 activations total
    - Deep Intense Throat (no Deep Throat jokes please...): 3 activations (+6 untyped to all mental stats)
    - 4 uses: 10 activations (1+2+3+4) = 16 hours of coverage
    - 4 activations left over - you can use these to get 2 uses/hours out of another center (Third Eye is great here for 40 PP @ 20), and 1 hour out of one more; or DIM a center and then get 1 hour out of it. (e.g. Heart for an hour of Fast Healing 2.)

    Alternatively, reduce your coverage while gaining flexibility:

    - DIM Throat: 3 activations (+6 untyped)
    - 3 uses: 6 activations (1+2+3) = 12 hours of coverage
    - 8 activations are left over. You can IM another center (2 activations) and activate for the same length of time (12 hours = 6 activations, 1+2+3). For example, Third Eye. This combo would get you +6 to all mental stats and up to 75 bonus PP at ML 20 (25x3.) Or do Base, for +4 to all physical stats untyped, for 12 hours.

    Physical builds: These are useful for melee-focused builds with manifester levels. See the section below for granting access to Soulknives.

    - If they already have good stat rolls, gishes can make ample use of the max PP build. a Psywar or War Mind for instance becomes much scarier with double (or more) the PP.

    - Alternatively, you can go for the stat boosts by adapting the 2nd max DC build; DIM Base instead of Throat for 12 hours, getting +6 untyped to Str, Dex and Con. then put the rest into PP, mental stats, or even the natural armor, saving throw or Power Resistance bonuses.



    Appendix: What about the Soulknife?
    Soulknife is a special case. A certain reading of the rules gives them a manifester level; if allowed, this would then make them eligible for Meditant. For the rationale behind this, open the spoiler:

    Spoiler
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    This is due to the Soulknife’s designation as a “psionic class” per XPH pg. 17 (repeated on pg. 26), and the definition of “manifester level” being equal to “levels in a psionic class” on pg. 54. Counterpoint: they are not included on the list of manifesters on pg. 18, and the Soulknife is given Wild Talent specifically to make them Psionic on pg. 28 (because their class itself doesn’t do so; on its own, it meets none of the criteria for a psionic character on pg. 68.) Talk to your DM; if allowed, Meditant can be a useful choice for them despite the very low HD and lack of blade progression. (And their Hidden Talent ACF becomes a lot more attractive as well.)

    (Exception: if using the DSP or PF Soulknife, these versions rule that classes that advance manifesting advance a Soulknife’s mind blade. If using this rule, both Soulknives gain a great deal of benefit from Meditant for little cost.)


    Alternatively, you can just grab a level of War Mind and Practiced Manifester - this will give you ML 5 with no rules issues.

    For Soulknives that are ruled to have ML and take Hidden Talent, Meditant and the Third Eye center become quite useful to shore up their nearly-nonexistent PP reserve. Crown’s Natural Armor helps their survivability early on, Base helps their physical power and Heart helps boost their hit points. Finally, if you go with a VoP Soulknife, you will still benefit from the Crown center as the NA bonuses provided by VoP are extremely small and easily overwritten by even a basic Crown activation.


    Conclusion
    That's... about it. To wrap up, Meditant is a great option, particularly for those classes that get bonus feats but little else (Psions and Psywars.) Let's for instance compare a Psywar 10/Meditant 10 to a Psywar 20:

    - The Psywar trades in two of his bonus feats to qualify for Meditant, then misses out on 3 feats while inside, for a total of 5. You thus give up 5 feats vs going straight Psywar. You also lose some HP and a point of BAB unless using fractionals.

    In exchange you get:
    - Never have to eat again
    - up to 125 bonus PP over 10 levels, can be traded for various untyped, undispellable buffs to physical stats or fast healing
    - Able to become Ethereal 3/day for as long as you want
    - Can reflect single-target mind-affecting attacks back at their originator

    The PP alone make it worthwhile to me; sinking those same 5 feats into Psionic Talent for instance would only get you 20 PP (2+3+4+5+6), waaaay less than Meditant gets you. The option to get huge stat buffs instead, not to mention become nigh-invulnerable on a whim is icing on the cake.

    So next time you're stuck for a psionic PrC, why not give Meditant a try?
    Last edited by Psyren; 2011-12-07 at 01:15 PM.
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    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: [3.5] Zen Psionics: Mastering the Meditant

    Changelog:

    12/6: Guide posted, 80% formatted
    12/7: Formatting complete
    Last edited by Psyren; 2011-12-07 at 01:16 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: [3.5] Zen Psionics: Mastering the Meditant

    So, a Factotum (Inspiration Points) and a Truenamer (you can use each psychic energy center repeatedly, but it gets progressively more expensive to use the more you use it each time) had a baby and named it after their uncle Incarnum (chakra centers)?

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    Default Re: [3.5] Zen Psionics: Mastering the Meditant

    Quote Originally Posted by Person_Man View Post
    So, a Factotum (Inspiration Points) and a Truenamer (you can use each psychic energy center repeatedly, but it gets progressively more expensive to use the more you use it each time) had a baby and named it after their uncle Incarnum (chakra centers)?
    Pretty much, yeah. Then Uncle Uncarnate and Auntie Metamind raised it.

    I don't expect there to be a lot of questions on this one; once the math is out of the way the class is pretty straightforward. You're just trading a ML and some feats for lots of buffs that you can rotate each day.


    Writing this was fun though, I'll probably do more stuff for Mind's Eye material.
    Last edited by Psyren; 2011-12-07 at 01:19 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: [3.5] Zen Psionics: Mastering the Meditant

    I've played Psion into Meditant before. The buffs are pretty nice in the early game, but the standard action activation is really problematic if you don't have a surprise round or another way of knowing that you'll be fighting.
    Quote Originally Posted by A_Moon View Post
    How many times, when the Fighter says "I draw my sword", did you just want to smack that cheating-optimizer in the face and say "No! You don't draw your sword! You draw Orcus!". When the Cleric says "I run away from Orcus!": "No! You run into Orcus! Rogue tries to hide? He hides behind Orcus! The bard in a tavern on the other side the town tries to order a drink? How about a nice frothy mug of Orcus?
    Quote Originally Posted by Guancyto View Post
    Perhaps this will sate Flickerdart's endless hunger for assassinations.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Zen Psionics: Mastering the Meditant

    Quote Originally Posted by Flickerdart View Post
    I've played Psion into Meditant before. The buffs are pretty nice in the early game, but the standard action activation is really problematic if you don't have a surprise round or another way of knowing that you'll be fighting.
    Schism solves that (the activation is purely mental, so your second mind can do it.) Or Quickened Synchronicity. Or do it during your Temporal Acceleration buffing round(s). Or use your Belt of Battle.

    Finally, once you hit Meditant 10 you can trigger it as a swift instead, and still have the option of triggering as a standard, and each use lasts for 4 hours so you have a very good chance of being able to do it in the morning and have it up all day.

    Or just eat the standard action, the buffs are worth it
    Last edited by Psyren; 2011-12-07 at 01:45 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: [3.5] Zen Psionics: Mastering the Meditant

    I don't consider 8th level "early game" so Schism doesn't help overmuch. But yes, once you get some levels under your belt, the buffs are easier to activate, though they require more dedication to keep relevant.
    Quote Originally Posted by A_Moon View Post
    How many times, when the Fighter says "I draw my sword", did you just want to smack that cheating-optimizer in the face and say "No! You don't draw your sword! You draw Orcus!". When the Cleric says "I run away from Orcus!": "No! You run into Orcus! Rogue tries to hide? He hides behind Orcus! The bard in a tavern on the other side the town tries to order a drink? How about a nice frothy mug of Orcus?
    Quote Originally Posted by Guancyto View Post
    Perhaps this will sate Flickerdart's endless hunger for assassinations.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Zen Psionics: Mastering the Meditant

    Ooh, ooh, do Psicrystal Imprinter!

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    Default Re: [3.5] Zen Psionics: Mastering the Meditant

    Quote Originally Posted by Flickerdart View Post
    I don't consider 8th level "early game" so Schism doesn't help overmuch. But yes, once you get some levels under your belt, the buffs are easier to activate, though they require more dedication to keep relevant.
    Considering you need to be 6 to even enter the class, are you really waiting that long? :-\

    Quickened Synchro is available at level 7 (even earlier with Overchannel) if you prefer that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fax Celestis View Post
    Ooh, ooh, do Psicrystal Imprinter!
    I'm tempted, but want to wait for PsiEx to cover anything DSP there are very handy feats in the works.

    It's the reason my original PsU guide is still covered in cobwebs after all
    Last edited by Psyren; 2011-12-07 at 01:56 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: [3.5] Zen Psionics: Mastering the Meditant

    Quote Originally Posted by Psyren View Post
    Considering you need to be 6 to even enter the class, are you really waiting that long? :-\
    You're taking Psychic Meditation for all your feats, so you might as well use it before you get in.
    Quote Originally Posted by A_Moon View Post
    How many times, when the Fighter says "I draw my sword", did you just want to smack that cheating-optimizer in the face and say "No! You don't draw your sword! You draw Orcus!". When the Cleric says "I run away from Orcus!": "No! You run into Orcus! Rogue tries to hide? He hides behind Orcus! The bard in a tavern on the other side the town tries to order a drink? How about a nice frothy mug of Orcus?
    Quote Originally Posted by Guancyto View Post
    Perhaps this will sate Flickerdart's endless hunger for assassinations.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Zen Psionics: Mastering the Meditant

    Quote Originally Posted by Flickerdart View Post
    You're taking Psychic Meditation for all your feats, so you might as well use it before you get in.
    Not all; Psions have 1 left over for Overchannel and Psywars have 2 (for EK and Overchannel.) This is without counting race or flaws.
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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: [3.5] Zen Psionics: Mastering the Meditant

    Like your Vitalist handbook, "handbook" is good for the title.


    Warforged Psion entry seems like an interesting race choice if the DM prevents sleeping and meditating at the same time. Is there any fluff that suggests Warforged would have Chakaras?
    Last edited by deuxhero; 2011-12-07 at 06:02 PM.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Zen Psionics: Mastering the Meditant

    Excellent handbook.

    You might want to give a brief mention of the Epic Progression for the Meditant. It's found in the Epic Insights archive. Unfortunately it looks like they based the progression off the 3.0 version of the prestige class instead of the 3.5 version.

    The Epic Inner Harmony feat is awesome and really ups the power of the prestige class. The Epic Psychic Meditation feat, however, is wonky. The revised Meditant doesn't qualify for the feat by RAW as the revised Meditant no longer gets the Intense Psychic Meditation as feats.

    However, any DM allowing the PrC should allow the revised Meditant to take the feat as it's pretty clear that the Intense Psychic Meditation class feature replaces the feat of the same name.

    The EPM feat is good and bad, as the ability score bonuses are enhancement bonuses, so while they stack with the untyped bonuses from the Meditant, at epic a character will probably already have +2 enhancement bonuses to all or most stats. However, the Third Eye center boost is great because it explicity stacks with the benefit of your regular Third Eye.

    If you activate Third Eye to get 1 bonus PP/ML and use EPM to activate Third Eye, that adds 2 bonus PP/ML, for a grand total of 3 PP/ML. At the level when you get the EPM feat (21st level), that's 63 bonus PP. You can only activate the EPM feat once per center per instance of the feat per day, but that's a hefty boost over 1 PP/ML.

    Also, it's arguable that the stated duration of the EPM feat (4 hours) increases to 1 hour per character level when you take the Epic Inner Harmony feat. If so then the Solar Plexus might be worthwhile (+2 untyped bonus to 1 save, +1 untyped remaining 2 saves). That'd stack with a triple primed Solar Plexus and you could mix them, for example giving the +5 morale to Fort, +3 morale to reflex & will, then +2 to will and +1 to reflex & fort. Net +6 fort, +4 reflex, +5 will.

    For a Psion or anyone relying on powers that have saves, the Sacral center for EPM is great, granting a +3 bonus to the DC for your primary discipline, +1 for all other powers. 3.5 Psions still have disciplines so this works fine.

    The Epic Inner Harmony feat is pure gold.
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    Default Re: [3.5] Zen Psionics: Mastering the Meditant

    Quote Originally Posted by deuxhero View Post
    Like your Vitalist handbook, "handbook" is good for the title.
    I did consider that; but in the end, what little artistry I possess made me want a more catchy title. I can still lure Google's spiders by cramming "Meditant Handbook" into the opening post anyway. (For all that it tries to correct to "Meditation Handbook.")

    Quote Originally Posted by deuxhero View Post
    Warforged Psion entry seems like an interesting race choice if the DM prevents sleeping and meditating at the same time. Is there any fluff that suggests Warforged would have Chakaras?
    As a matter of fact, they do, and there is.

    Spoiler
    Show

    Simply combine this line:

    A psionic character can find peace and harmony by continuously exploring the inner depths of solitude that meditation provides. The psychic energy centers awaken and the natural psionic forces from within the mind and body are released. With practice, a psionic character can harness and channel these raw psionic forces into positive effects.
    With this one:

    The Psionic Subtype
    Any creature with psionic powers has the psionic subtype. A psionic creature can be born with the subtype or can gain the subtype during its life.

    A creature meeting any one of the following criteria has the psionic subtype:

    - Creatures with a power point reserve, including characters who have levels in a character class that grants them a power point reserve or creatures who have the Wild Talent feat.
    - Creatures with psi-like abilities, including characters who have racial psi-like abilities.
    - Creatures that have spell-like abilities described as “psionics.”


    Warforged Psions would meet the first criterion; Psiforged would meet the second. Either way, they would be eligible to access their centers, with the necessary training represented by taking the feat.

    In addition to Warforged, Elans are also a good choice; they explicitly sleep by meditating. From XPH 9:

    Elans do not sleep as members of most other races do. Instead, an elan meditates in a deep trance for 4 hours a day. An elan resting in this fashion gains the same benefit that a human does from 8 hours of sleep.
    Psychic Meditation does not differentiate between meditating for rest and meditating to awaken your centers - it merely requires that the meditation be uninterrupted. Thus, Elans can double-dip, though doing so requires them to "sleep" for 8 hours instead of 4 if they want to regain their PP and awaken a center in the same night. (Though Inner Peace trims this down.)

    I meant to add a section on Elans and Warforged to the main guide; I probably still should.

    Does anyone remember which dragon magazine introduced the Synad? It might have their sleeping habits as well.


    Quote Originally Posted by Chambers View Post
    You might want to give a brief mention of the Epic Progression for the Meditant. It's found in the Epic Insights archive. Unfortunately it looks like they based the progression off the 3.0 version of the prestige class instead of the 3.5 version.
    Those feats are indeed nice, but also not needed. Recall this line from the SRD:

    Generally, any class feature that uses class level as part of a mathematical formula continues to increase using the character’s class level in the formula. Any prestige class feature that calculates a save DC using the class level should add only half the character’s class levels above 10th.
    Your activations use a mathematical formula (i.e. +2 every even level) and so Progressing Meditant even without the defunct epic progression will get you more of them, and therefore buffs that last all day.

    On the plus side, however, the epic progression does give you more etherealness uses. In addition, Epic Inner Harmony will allow your Throat activation to last all night, long enough to get bonus PP from a higher ability score.

    EPM is very nice for Third Eye's PP buff, but the rest are pretty underwhelming (especially Throat and Base: enhancement? Wtf?)
    Last edited by Psyren; 2011-12-08 at 09:23 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: [3.5] Zen Psionics: Mastering the Meditant

    I'd like to call foul on how you're rating the Crown Chakra.

    The Natural Armor provided is NOT an Enhancement Bonus, and would therefore stack with the (typical) Natural Armor booster (the Amulet of Natural Armor). An effective extra +3 NA at level 1 is very nice. At level 8, when you pull out a +5 to AC? That's pretty good.

    It's less awesome on a race with it's own Natural Armor, but it stacks with the item.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Zen Psionics: Mastering the Meditant

    Quote Originally Posted by NineThePuma View Post
    I'd like to call foul on how you're rating the Crown Chakra.

    The Natural Armor provided is NOT an Enhancement Bonus, and would therefore stack with the (typical) Natural Armor booster (the Amulet of Natural Armor). An effective extra +3 NA at level 1 is very nice. At level 8, when you pull out a +5 to AC? That's pretty good.

    It's less awesome on a race with it's own Natural Armor, but it stacks with the item.
    You're right; the wording on the amulet does appear to stack with the chakra activation. I'll adjust the rating and builds accordingly later today.
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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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