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    Default [3.5] Thinking on your Feet: The Psychic Rogue Handbook

    Thinking On Your Feet:
    The Psychic Rogue Handbook


    “The eye of the master will do more work than both his hands.” - Benjamin Franklin


    Reasons for this guide:

    1) DSP’s psionic skillmonkey for Pathfinder is coming out soon - to better understand the roles and responsibilities of such a class, I decided to first analyze WotC’s own, fairly successful attempt.
    2) Skillmonkeys are fun. Psionics is fun. Hey, you got peanut butter in my chocolate, etc.
    3) There are two psionic base classes in 3.5 that have yet to be covered by handbooks... and I’d have to either be really masochistic or really drunk to touch Divine Mind.

    Required Reading:

    This guide assumes you’re familiar with how psionics work - if not, please see Peregrine’s post in my sig, then head to the SRD for the rules material there.

    Other sources that may be handy prior to using this guide are below:

    PId6’s Rogue Handbook
    Saeomon’s Psion Handbook
    Zugschef’s Psychic Warrior Handbook
    Dictum Mortuum’s Lurk Handbook
    Rules of the Game: All About Sneak Attacks
    Chronos’ Unalliterative Skillmonkey Guide

    Rating System:

    Because Saeomon’s handbook is my favorite to date (and because purple is my favorite color) I use his rating system in my own works.

    Purple: Must-haves - these will take your Psyrogue above and beyond.
    Blue: Very strong choices, choose among these for your build.
    Green: Decent choices, but have drawbacks that can make them situational.
    Orange: Unless you have a specific build/functionality in mind, don’t select one of these. (Or duplicate its value with a less intensive resource, like an item.)
    Red: There’s nothing for you here - Skip.

    In all cases, my conclusions are open to revision; There’s always a chance that I’ve overlooked a pro (or con) of some kind and thus misrated something. The insight of the community is always welcome.
    Last edited by Psyren; 2014-09-14 at 10:28 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] Thinking on your Feet: The Psychic Rogue Handbook

    What is a Psychic Rogue?


    The Psychic Rogue is a psionic base class introduced for 3.5 via WotC’s online Mind’s Eye articles. Like the rogue, it is a skill-based class that relies on striking from (or sneaking through) the shadows to be effective. The Psychic Rogue, however, has an additional edge - a suite of internal powers, similar to the Spellthief or Savant, from which it can draw to gain the upper hand in combat or social encounters when its skills fail. (Or to keep them from failing in the first place.)

    As most players familiar with 3.5 psionics already know, WotC actually created two psionic classes with a “skillmonkey” flavor - the Psychic Rogue discussed here, and its CPsi successor the Lurk.

    The Lurk has a key advantage over the Psychic Rogue, in that it’s better at manifesting (due to faster and higher power access and more base PP). It also shares many of the same psionic synergies as the Psyrogue, such as being Intelligence-based, and using powers that don’t require speech. So why then is it that so many players recommend the Psychic Rogue over the Lurk?

    The simplest reason is that if you’re even considering these two classes to begin with, chances are you’re interested in being your group’s specialist (aka skill/trapmonkey) - a role at which the Psychic Rogue is unequivocally better. And while it has less overall mental might, you get more than enough psionics to be just as useful in a variety of situations. After all, if sheer manifesting was all you wanted, you could be a Wilder/Psion/Psywar instead, and dish out as much damage as the Lurk (if not more) while wielding much more raw power and group utility in other areas.

    The other big reason to be a Psychic Rogue is that the class and all its abilities are freely available online; the Lurk meanwhile requires a book that tends to attract a lot of hate for its weak prestige classes and botched flavor. Even if your group isn’t totally familiar with psionics, consider allowing any player who wants to be the thief archetype to be a psychic rogue instead of the regular one, especially in otherwise SRD-only games.

    The Psychic Rogue’s Tier

    The Psychic Rogue is widely held to be Tier 3 ("Capable of doing one thing quite well, while still being useful when that one thing is inappropriate") and I support this conclusion. While they aren’t quite as versatile as a Factotum, and though they lack much of the top-end power of a Beguiler, Psychic Rogues pack a bit more mundane punch than both in the form of their native sneak attack; they also benefit from a great deal of synergy between their default role and the psionic power system. It is this synergy that elevates them above lower-tier skill-based classes like Spellthief, Lurk, Savant, Ninja, Mountebank... and even their non-psionic counterpart, the core Rogue.

    This synergy comes in several flavors:

    Spoiler
    Show
    Intelligence-basis: For a skill-based class, Intelligence is a stat that provides great returns, because it increases the number of tasks you are capable of performing successfully for your party. Psychic Rogues gain additional benefit from the stat - more powerful manifesting, allowing them to reinforce and even exceed their mundane capabilities, thereby compensating them for weaker scores in other areas - and that’s before you get into powers that directly boost your other ability scores, like Animal Affinity. A psychic rogue will typically have a much higher intelligence stat than a core rogue, simply because they get more out of it. Like Factotums or Beguilers, you’ll generally end up with a lot of skill points to throw into obscure directions like Forgery or Use Rope, while still keeping the essentials like Hide and MS properly maximized.

    Silent Magic: Psionics is unobtrusive (particularly if you suppress your displays, which becomes quite easy to do even at low levels as the DC is static.) Because you don’t need costly metamagic or limited tricks to hide your manifesting, you can frequently and unobtrusively cast while hidden/disguised, and even while being openly observed. This includes manifesting from items - unlike magic items like wands or scrolls, psionic items don’t use command words, nor do they have verbal components of any kind.

    Manifesting and Augmentation: In the Psionic system, augmentation determines the strength of a power moreso than its actual level, and augmentation depends on manifester level. A psychic rogue’s manifester level is equal to his class level, just as with “pure” manifesters like the Psion and Psychic Warrior - this means that even though Psyrogues top out at a low power level (5th), they can get a great deal of mileage out of low-level powers, moreso than a class like Spellthief. For example, a Psychic Rogue that learns Astral Construct or Energy Ray can augment these all the way to 17+ PP - the equivalent of a 9th-level power - just like a full Psion can. This benefit also extends to metapsionics, allowing a Psychic Rogue to apply metapsionics to his highest level powers almost as soon as he acquires them. Finally, few powers are arbitrarily capped the way many spells are, so strategic choice of low-level powers can remain relevant throughout a Psychic Rogue’s career.

    Second, psionic powers are cost-standardized by level; a 3rd-level power costs 5 PP no matter who manifests it, or when they get access to it. This works particularly well for powers that don’t need to be augmented, like Detect Hostile Intent. So for instance - while a Spellthief who gains access to 3rd-level powers for the first time only gets one use per day before factoring in his casting stat, a Psychic rogue who hits the same tier of powers can use his 3rd-level powers 3 times before factoring in his.

    Mutable List: Through feats like Expanded Knowledge/Hidden Talent, and even the Psychic Chirurgery power at late levels, manifesting classes have much more control over their power list. This benefit allows the psychic rogue to ; particularly combat-oriented powers, of which they natively possess few. Combined with the augmentation point above, strategic selection of scalable low-level powers gives them a key advantage in combat at all levels. You can also add even more synergy to your list this way -powers with attack rolls, like rays and shard spells, dovetail well with your native sneak attack ability, as do powers that grant natural attacks such as bite of the wolf and claws of the beast, and they can access the mighty metamorphosis at high levels as well.


    An analysis of the Psyrogue vs. its two closest counterparts follows below. This is only of use to people attempting to understand the tier system better (or at least, the skillmonkey’s place in it) - if you’re here to learn more about the psychic rogue itself, feel free to move on to the next section.

    Spoiler
    Show
    Psychic Rogues vs. Lurks

    As stated above, Psychic Rogues are slightly worse than Lurks at manifesting, but much better at everything else - i.e. being the group’s skillmonkey, trapmonkey, and even face. This greater base skill level for the Psyrogue bridges the psionic gap between the two classes - i.e. what a Psychic Rogue gets passively, a Lurk has to spend resources to keep up with (particularly in the arena of sneak attack), undermining the greater power access of the latter. A Lurk trying to keep up with a Psychic Rogue’s sneak attack damage would have to burn through her PP to do so, and even consume her swift actions in the attempt rather than using them for other things like skill tricks.

    In addition, Psychic Rogues get the following skills that Lurks do not: Balance, Decipher Script, Diplomacy, Disable Device, Forgery, Gather Information, Intimidate, Know (local), Profession, Sense Motive, and Use Rope. Lurks also don’t get trapfinding, unless they take an ACF, and even then their version is weaker and more situational. We can therefore conclude that Lurks - though playable - possess sharp deficiencies when it comes to the skillmonkey and face roles one would typically expect a rogue to fill.

    With their greater manifesting ability, martial weapon proficiencies and combat-oriented augments (which are geared more towards slaying than stealth), Lurks play more like pocket assassins than true thieves or infiltrators. They are fragile warriors that can sneak around a bit, as opposed to sneaks that can fight, but even this role is undermined by their comparatively weak sneak attack. Psychic Rogues, by comparison, play more like special agents; they are more adept at ferreting out secrets, getting into places where they aren’t wanted or expected, bypassing vigilant sentries, and spying on unwary targets while relaying information back to their colleagues. They possess the mundane skill necessary to perform many of these tasks with minimal to zero psionic assistance; their powers are a bonus to their illicit activities, rather than a crutch.

    Psychic Rogues greatly outperform Lurks in low-combat games (e.g. a “political intrigue” or “murder mystery” style campaign.) But even when the fight does actually start, Psychic Rogues account for themselves quite well; from levels 3-10, they are only 1d6 behind a mundane rogue’s sneak attack. (Compare to the Lurk, which is a full 3d6 behind by level 10 and only continues to fall from there.) Even when leaning on their powers for combat effectiveness, they can conserve PP by using less potent manifestations and relying on their sneak attack to make up the difference. For example, a level 7 psyrogue can fire a 1d6 energy ray and add +3d6 sneak attack, for a total of 4d6 - equivalent to the same shot fully-augmented by a psion, but costing 6 PP less.

    Psychic Rogues vs. Rogues

    You’re worse at sneak attack (-3d6 total over your 20-level career), you have less base skillpoints, your special abilities are delayed a level, and your trap sense/uncanny dodge are contingent on being psionically focused.

    In exchange, you get your own internal suite of powers instead of having to rely exclusively on items (though thanks to UPD, you can do a lot of that too.) This also means you can craft some of your own gear to save cash (particularly if you adopt the rules from MiC) though you will likely be starved for feats to do so.

    Psyrogues also gain access to a partner in crime that regular rogues typically do not - namely, a psicrystal. Psicrystals share your skill ranks, making them a solid investment for every psyrogue. You effectively get to double certain key checks, like Spot, Listen and Search. There is very little the psicrystal can’t assist you with.
    Last edited by Psyren; 2014-09-12 at 02:43 PM.
    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] Thinking on your Feet: The Psychic Rogue Handbook

    Attributes and Race




    Before we can dive into the optimal race choices for a psychic rogue, we have to discuss their ability score priority. Psychic Rogues, perhaps even moreso than regular rogues, suffer from MAD; they need:

    STR for melee/thrown damage and carrying capacity
    DEX for awesome (and reflex)
    CON to live (HP + fort)
    INT for more awesome (manifesting and skills)
    WIS for will saves and Psionic Meditation
    CHA for face skills and UPD

    Sadly, we’re unlikely to be able to put 18s or even 16s in everything; however, a psyrogue’s mental powers can easily compensate for lower scores in other areas. For instance, you don’t need to be a perfectly stealthy sneak if you can shrink yourself, switch off the lights and/or deaden your footfalls with a thought. You also don’t need to be supremely tough if you can boost your hit points and saving throws at will, grant yourself spell resistance, or summon bruisers out of thin air to block for you. And if you can get +10 to bluff on a moment’s notice, you can live with a -1 Cha mod, etc.

    Because of these differences, your stat priority is slightly different vs. regular rogues. Your psionics are based off your intelligence, so this becomes a higher priority for Psychic Rogues than it is mundane ones, possibly even your top priority. For me personally, I see Int as being even more important than Dex (your mental abilities can augment, and later replace entirely, your physical ones), but players who want a more traditional rogue feel can certainly swap the two in the spreads I’ve listed below.

    Your other major choice regards your Wisdom score - You need at least a 13 for Psionic Meditation. I personally recommend it, as being able to regain your psionic focus quickly is very useful (and vital, if you plan on employing psionic or metapsionic feats) - but you can certainly get by without it, especially in a low-combat game or with a low-psionics build (see the “Builds” section.)

    Stat Priority

    With Psionic Meditation:
    INT>DEX>WIS (13-14 only)>CON>CHA=STR

    Sample starting spreads:
    Elite Array: 8 STR, 14 DEX, 12 CON, 15 INT, 13 WIS, 10 CHA
    28-Point-Buy: 8 STR, 14 DEX, 14 CON, 16 INT, 14 WIS, 8 CHA
    32-Point-Buy: 8 STR, 16 DEX, 14 CON, 16 INT, 14 WIS, 8 CHA

    Without Psionic Meditation:
    INT>DEX>>CON>CHA=STR>>>WIS

    Sample starting spreads:
    Elite Array: 12 STR, 14 DEX, 13 CON, 15 INT, 8 WIS, 10 CHA (swap STR and CHA for more social games.)
    28-Point-Buy: 8 STR, 16 DEX , 14 CON, 16 INT, 8 WIS, 10 CHA
    32-Point-Buy: 8 STR, 16 DEX, 14 CON, 18 INT, 8 WIS, 8 CHA

    If you’re starting at first level, don’t go below 14 Int - you get no PP from your class at first level, so you need at least that much for bonus points (plus whatever you can get from your race/feats.) Without power points, you’re just a regular rogue with less skills, and nobody wants that.

    Choose whether to put your stat increases into Int or Dex. Personally, I’d go with Int - the more tricks your mind can do per day, the less you need to rely on your other stats. The huge amount of additional skillpoints you’ll gain are an added bonus.

    Races


    As a rule, avoid races with Int or Dex penalties. If you take a race with LA (and don’t go above 1) try to buy it off ASAP. If buyoff is not allowed, downgrade all LA races by a step.

    Psionic Races:

    Psionic races carry the useful advantage of bonus PP, which you sorely need starting out. But don't be beholden to them, as there are excellent choices in the non-psionic section.

    Spoiler
    Show
    Dromite: small size is a plus; combined with the +3 NA, you’ll be pretty hard to hit. You can also sneak attack with your 1/day laser for a nice alpha strike, and it scales with your level. The Wis penalty sucks for a psionic meditation build, so go for the other unless you have high point buy/good rolls. Ultimately though, I don’t see anything here worth +1 LA.
    Duergar: Ouch! With that Cha penalty you certainly won’t be the face. The rest is decent though - 3 PP, some nice immunities, useful PLAs, and relevant skill bonuses. I’m not convinced it’s worth the LA, but it’s roughly on par with Dromite all the same.
    Elan: The -2 Cha hurts a bit, but your great racials, creature type and lack of LA more than make up for it. You should probably let someone else be the face though. (Note: if using the Eberron version, these guys can use Quori shards too.)
    Githzerai/Githyanki: The PLAs, bonus PP, stat adjustments and PR are useful, but that LA makes these guys a tough sell. If you can get it bought off, they both have the chops to make decent psyrogues. (The Int penalty on GZs is normally a deal-breaker, but the massive Dex boost compensates for it.)
    Half-Giant: You’re big! You’re bad! You’re clumsy! You have LA! Next.
    Kalashtar: A ton of extra PP, useful save bonuses, and social buffs. The shards are really nice too. A solid choice.
    Maenad: None of the racials are really a good fit (and avoid outburst like the plague.) Going around sparkling everywhere isn’t good practice for a sneak either, mechanical penalties or no. But the sheer novelty of being able to sneak attack with a scream might make up for all of that; at least it does for me.
    Synad: A fantastic choice, even without stat adjustments. You’ve got a sweet creature type, a useful save bonus, synergistic abilities, and plenty of PP to get you started.
    Xeph: Great! Fast, agile, and psionic. If it got more PP it would be purple.


    Non-Psionic Races:

    Spoiler
    Show
    Azurin: Instant awesome, just add blue. In low-level games, the essentia goes much further than the human’s extra skillpoints (e.g.: drop it into your Psion’s Eyes, and you effectively get 6 skill points instead of 1.) Also, they get access to Able Learner too.
    Changeling: The Psyrogue’s lack of disguise powers (no illusions, and Metamorphosis comes awfully late) gives Changelings a strong leg up over the competition even before all the other sneaky racials they get. Being able to nab Speak Language and Able Learner are great perks too. Finally, Racial Emulation gives them access to goodies like Quori shards.
    Duskling: The Int penalty just isn’t worth the essentia.
    Dwarf: A resounding meh.
    Elves: Stat bonuses, some immunities, and passive search make them an attractive choice for a mental sneak, especially Gray Elves. Aerenei Elves in Eberron can also can get Psicraft as a class skill via a feat rather than a dip.
    Gnomes: Meh. Whisper Gnomes are a step up though.
    Hadozee: The monkey-men from Stormwrack have some nice racials for rogues, allowing them to easily climb and even more easily fall. Avoid being the face with them but otherwise they are a nice choice.
    Half-Elves: Unless you've got something special in mind, be an Elf or Human instead.
    Half-Orc: The Int penalty seals this deal. Next!
    Halflings: A good choice for the stat bonus alone; Strongheart’s free feat adds another degree of usefulness.
    Humans: Blah blah good at everything blah. Also, Able Learner.
    Illumian: While none of the words really help psionics as written, The Naen, Uur and possibly Krau sigils are all useful in and of themselves. Also, Able Learner.
    Kobold: With those bonuses they make great sneaks of course, and Dragonwrought works great since you have a use for all three of your mental stats. But rampant abuse of these guys in Charop leaves me hesitant to recommend them for any actual game.
    Mongrelfolk: They’re supposed to be good rogues (favored class) but I’m just not seeing it, especially not for you. They make way better barbarians/totemists if you ask me.
    Rilkan: Bonus to a key stat, penalty to a dump stat, and you automatically treat all knowledge checks as being trained? Sign me up!
    Shifter: I never really liked them to be honest. The Int and Cha penalties aren’t endearing either, even with Dex to shore them up. It's possible I'm missing something though.
    Skarn: The free natural attack is nice, but there’s very little else here for you. Skip.
    Tibbit: The gold standard; I can’t find a single thing to complain about here other than the lack of PP. Nonhumanoid type confers useful immunities early on; combined with a bonus to a key stat, penalty to a dump stat, darkvision, and scent, they’re almost too good for 0 LA. With Compression + cat form, you can get all the way down to Fine size, making you nearly impossible to discover or hit. Furthermore, their main disadvantage - inability to cast spells or use command words in cat form - doesn’t apply to you. Want to be a literal cat burglar? Look no further than this great race. …..Their long lifespans are icing on the cake.
    Warforged: I love the immunities, but see if you can be a Warforged Scout instead. Watch the Wis penalty if you want to do a psionic meditation build.
    Last edited by Psyren; 2012-02-27 at 12:50 PM.
    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] Thinking on your Feet: The Psychic Rogue Handbook

    Chassis and Class Features




    The Psychic Rogue’s basic chassis is very similar to its non-psionic counterpart: d6 HD, good Reflex saves, 3/4 BAB. They share proficiencies with the core rogue. Psychic Rogues can be any alignment.

    Skills:
    Psyrogues share the rogue skill list, save for a few key additions which I’ve highlighted in blue. (For a detailed discussion on skills, See the “Skills & Skill Tricks” section.)

    (6+ Int, x4 at 1st): Appraise, Autohypnosis, Balance, Bluff, Climb, Concentration, Craft, Decipher Script, Diplomacy, Disable Device, Disguise, Escape Artist, Forgery, Gather Information, Hide, Intimidate, Jump, Knowledge (local), Knowledge (psionics), Listen, Move Silently, Open Lock, Perform, Profession, Search, Sense Motive, Sleight of Hand, Spot, Swim, Tumble, Use Psionic Device, and Use Rope.

    Curiously, they do NOT get Psicraft (ugh) but there are ways around this lack - see the Psicraft subsection below.


    Getting Psicraft
    I firmly believe Psychic Rogues’ lack of Psicraft was just an oversight - every other class capable of manifesting powers gets it, including Lurk, Divine Mind, and even War Mind! So your first recourse should simply be to talk to your DM. You’ll need the skill to activate any items without UPD, manifest from other psionicist’s minds, or identify ongoing psionics and spells.

    In case your DM is a stickler for RAW, you can to resort to alternate methods to get it:

    Spoiler
    Show
    Dip: Take a level in a class that grants psicraft. By far the best choice is the Shadowmind PrC from Complete Adventurer, which not only gets you Psicraft (without requiring it, even), but also does not lose ML progression on entry (see the Prestige Class section for more.) If you need Psicraft sooner than level 6 though, other great choices are Psion (bonus feat, PP and extra powers), Erudite (same as Psion, but also with a free psicrystal), Ardent (two free mantles), Lurk (gain an augment that scales with your Psyrogue ML, plus some powers), and Factotum (Cunning Insight!) There are other PrCs to choose from, but Shadowmind is by far the best choice.

    Feat: This is the next best option, but there aren’t many of these that grant Psicraft. The Apprentice feat from DMGII could work - Psicraft is an associated skill of Psionic Guilds (DMGII 225) so your mentor could come from there. Eberron’s Aereni Focus (PGtE - thanks to mikau013 for pointing this out) will also let you get Psicraft on your list and give you a bonus, so there’s one good reason to be an Elf Psyrogue.

    Soulmeld: Incarnum to the rescue - the Psion’s Eyes soulmeld, while not giving you Psicraft as a class skill, does let you make the checks untrained, and even gives you a hefty bonus. Even better, it provides the same bonus to your Autohypnosis and UPD checks, two very handy parts of your repertoire. What’s doubly-nice about the Soulmeld option is that it continues to be beneficial even if you grab Psicraft later via one of the other methods. For instance, you can Shape Psion’s Eyes at 3rd-level, and rely on that to make use of the skill until ECL 6 when you PrC into Shadowmind - and even after that, you can continue using the soulmeld to help your checks. Finally, if you want to open up your Brow chakra (a Lesser Chakra, so this will take awhile), the bind is also very useful - indefinite Mindlink lets the entire party keep in touch across very long distances without making a sound, a very handy ability for a scout or spy to have. Having glowy-blue glasses though - or worse, a big blue eye in the middle of your forehead - isn’t exactly subtle, however.

    Vestige: One of the Psionic vestiges - the Triad - allows you to make Psicraft checks untrained, and gives you a +5 untyped bonus to same. It’s a 4th-level vestige, so levels in Binder or Anima Psion (see the PrC section) are mandatory for this choice, but if you’re already going that route this is a great way to get or boost the skill. The Triad offers other benefits too - such as untyped bonuses to Diplomacy/Sense Motive, as well as bonus PP.

    Cross-Class: If worst comes to worst, you can just suck it up and sink the points in cross-class. Unless you have access to Able Learner, I wouldn’t even consider this option, to be honest; even with it, the lower cap still applies which will limit your effectiveness.

    You can also combine one or more of the above. A dip combined with Able Leaner, for instance, will effectively make it a class skill for all your levels - or you can position dips strategically to pump the skill in bursts. And Psion’s Eyes are a great option even if you also go with another method. (You can always reform the feat away later when the bonus is too small to make much difference.)


    Now, you can live without Psicraft - remember that you have UPD to activate all your items with if need be - but UPD won’t give you the potentially useful ability to manifest powers from others’ heads. You’ll also be able to take 10 on Psicraft checks in combat later in your career, a benefit you’ll never have for UPD. Finally, Psicraft has other bonuses too, such as identifying active powers, or identifying powers being manifested via their displays. A handful of interesting PrCs require it as well.

    Class Features:
    Manifesting: Psychic Rogues are full (20/20) manifesters. However, they have the lowest max power level and base PP of any full-manifester in the game (5th-level powers and 100 PP at 20th-level respectively.) Compare this to the Lurk, which has the Psywar progression (127 PP and 6th-level powers at 20.) Though unfortunate, it does underscore the point that your powers are there to help your skills, rather than the other way around - in other words, you should play more like a magical rogue than a sneaky psion, and rely on your mental gifts only when you must.

    And hey, at least you’re still ahead of the Divine Mind.

    (See the “Powers” section for a detailed breakdown of their manifesting ability.)

    Sneak Attack: This is the rogue’s raison d'être in combat - and yours is almost as good. Here’s the breakdown by level:
    1-2: Same as rogue
    3-10: -1d6 behind
    11-16: -2d6 behind
    17-20: -3d6 behind

    This works out to a total of 7d6 SA @ 20. Compare this to the Spellthief (5d6 @ 20), Lurk (4d6 psionic @ 20), Mountebank (5d6 @ 20) or Savant (3d6 @ 20) and you’ll see that Psyrogues aren’t doing too badly at all. And unlike Sudden Strike, Skirmish, Deceptive Attack or Psionic Sneak Attack, yours is the genuine article - it has no additional restrictions/limitations on its use.

    Evasion: A very useful ability for Dex-based classes as always, and you have a number of ways to boost your save and take advantage.

    Danger Sense: Rather than gaining the regular Trap Sense ability, Psyrogues gain a supernatural version that relies on psionic focus to be active. Trap sense itself is an underwhelming ability (particularly in campaigns without traps), but since Psyrogues lack ACFs you’re kind of stuck with it. But there is good news: because your ability functions like the power, you get the full +4 to reflex/AC at 5th-level, instead of havin to wait until 12th-level as a standard rogue would for the same bonus. But the bad news comes back again - for one, it’s an insight bonus to both for you (rather than untyped/dodge as per the standard rogue) meaning it doesn’t stack with other insight bonuses you may have active like Defensive Precognition. And it also doesn’t scale past +4, whereas the standard rogue’s can get all the way up to +6 pre-epic. All in all, not much fun, but it’s better than nothing.

    This ability later gets you uncanny dodge and imp. uncanny dodge, which are of course nice to have, albeit a bit late - you get them at 7 and 9 respectively, while the regular rogue clocks in at 4 and 8.

    Special Abilities: As with rogues, these are your main reason not to PrC out of the base class. Here’s the breakdown, with ratings:

    Blind Spot (Ps): Cloud Mind, 1/day, on one target, duration concentration, AND it’s subject to PR/provokes AoO on top of everything else. I’d pass, personally.

    Bonus Feat: The gold standard, by which all other specials are measured. This goes double for psychic rogues, who can gain more mileage from their feats than even regular rogues do. After Skill Mastery (and possibly Mind Cripple if you want to go that route), sink your specials here. (Note that you are not restricted to psionic feats, unlike the psion and psywar.)

    Decoy (Ps): Project Image (7th-level illusion spell) as a PLA - this has quite a few uses, but the 1/day and need for concentration severely cripple it compared to the spell. Still, it’s kind of neat to be a manifester with an illusion, especially one you can see out of or that can deliver messages for you. If your DM rules that transparency doesn’t apply to it (i.e. you can’t manifest powers from it) then downgrade to orange.

    Enhanced Sneak Attack (Su): +1d6? Instead of a feat? And you need psionic focus for the increase to count? No thanks.

    Improved Evasion (Ex): It’s a trap! Your reflex saves should be high enough to almost never fail already, and you have access to the powers you need to boost your save even more, escape, or even just tank the blasts. There are better choices. Only take if you need it for something specific, or your saves are below par (and they shouldn't be.)

    Mind Cripple (Su): A deadly ability. This applies to each sneak attack, and ability damage stacks, so with a good attack routine you could render someone a vegetable in moments, even from range. It also bypasses mind blank. Note that unlike the Lurk’s Mental Assault augment, this is constantly on, rather than requiring you to spend PP to activate it. If you don’t expect to get much use out of it (e.g. low-combat campaign or ability damage-immune/mindless foes), then feel free to skip.

    Shadow Jump (Ps): Even though this ability is somewhat free, you’re a manifester - there are better ways for you to get around the battlefield. In particular, you want a method that doesn’t eat your standard (or focus+move), doesn’t rely on there being shadows near where you are and where you want to be, and don’t provoke AoO either. And the max range on this is much lower than the power anyway.

    Skill Mastery: Your best ability - take 10 on key skills, like Autohypnosis/Concentration, even in the middle of combat; any other skills you get are just icing on the cake. (Other good choices: the stealth and perception skills, perhaps the movement skills, and a face skill or two.) Make this special a priority as soon as you hit 11. And even if you plan on PrCing out, strongly consider staying in Psyrogue until 11 just to get this as early as you can - it’s worth foregoing most capstones.

    Slippery Mind (Ex): Your powers give you better options to protect your head compared to regular rogues. Take it if you have nothing better.
    Last edited by Psyren; 2014-09-14 at 10:31 PM.
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    Default Re: [3.5] Thinking on your Feet: The Psychic Rogue Handbook

    Powers


    Note: A handful of new (i.e. non-SRD) powers were created for the Psychic Rogue here. I’ve included these in the analysis below.

    1st-Level

    Spoiler
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    Astral Traveler - You can join an Astral Caravan, but not start one. Don’t bother learning this power - if you ever need this method of travel, your caravan guide is likely to know this as well, at which point you can just manifest it straight from his head (or from a power stone/dorje if necessary.)

    Attraction - Good for the social rogue, or if you’re trying to avoid a fight (e.g. attract the guard to the privy, or a potted fern down the hall, and wait for him to leave his post.) One of the Psyrogue’s many useful powers for a low-combat game or stealth mission.

    Bolt - Ranged PsyRogues will likely want to consider this for the free magic ammo (especially at low levels, when it’s very hard to come by.) Everyone else can safely disregard.
    Oddly, there’s no cap on how far you can augment this, so you could end up with +6 ammo (read: pierces epic DR) as early as level 16.

    Burst: This is pretty bad - It doesn’t scale, doesn’t stack with a lot of speed increasers (e.g. haste) only lasts a round, only applies to land speed... about the only upside is the swift action, so you can activate this and peel off for a 160ft. run action. But compare to the Expeditious Retreat spell, which gives you 3x the speed at the same level (or even just Skate, for 1.5x), and you’ll see why your slots are best used elsewhere.

    Catfall: Despite cool flavor, “Psionic Feather Fall” is too weak and too situational, even for a second-story-man like you. Get a ring of feather fall or similar instead (or good old-fashioned rope.)

    Compression: A must-have: helps you fight, helps you hide, and helps you escape, at least one of which you will likely have to do at some point during the day. And even though you shrink, your speed and sneak attack do not; neither do thrown weapons (or rather, they do, but unshrink mid-flight.) Then there are the non-combat uses - shrink down and walk between the prison bars, stow away in the minion’s hat/backpack/pocket to get useful intel, escape from battle while everything misses you - the possibilities are limited only by your imagination. Best of all, it works regardless of your creature type (unlike Reduce Person.) Get this, you won’t regret it.

    Conceal Thoughts: I call it “Psionic Lesser Glibness.” If you’re the face, this is great; even if you’re not, this is one of the rare psionic powers that can be used to buff others. Be sure to get this incarnated at the very least, so you can lie through your teeth for life.

    Control Light: An excellent power to help you sneak around or spy. Unlike a Darkness spell, this can produce total darkness (read: even darker than “shadowy illumination”) allowing you to safely sit in the corner and avoid notice, or sneak your entire party past some guards. Neat trick: by RAW it is a [Light] effect even when used to darken, which has a couple of ramifications: its unclear if it would count as “magical darkness” (which means you should be able to see through it with darkvision.) It also means that higher level light effects won’t negate it (i.e. you control them too.) That enemy cleric might get suspicious when his daylight spell isn’t working though, so make good your escape or switch hiding spots. Even if those last two are ruled against you though, it’s still a great power. Combine with Touchsight to become immune to gaze attacks while still being able to see.

    Create Sound: While you can theoretically get some nice tricks out of this (you should have a decent Bluff mod), it’s a bit too DM-dependent for my tastes. The more permissive your DM is (“I scare the guards away with a dragon’s roar!” “They flee in abject terror”) the better this gets... but Control Sound has more uses and you don’t even need this power to activate it.

    Déjà Vu: A Low-level save-or-suck, if you catch enemies doing something they’d rather not repeat. Plenty of drawbacks though - it keeps you from attacking too, your Int may not be high enough to make it stick, and it doesn’t enable sneak attack. If you really want a low-level debuff like this, Disable is a better choice in my opinion.

    Detect Psionics: Everyone knows this is a great power, so why haven’t I rated it higher? Because there is bound to be a primary caster in the party with this, that’s why, and you can’t spare the slots. Hell, you don’t even need it to find magical/psionic traps. And to top it off Psicraft isn’t even a class skill for you (but see the “Chassis” section), limiting its usefulness. Feel free to get it Incarnated on you at some point though.

    Detect Secret Doors, Psionic: New power from Mind’s Eye. Too situational to be worth a slot - rely on your skills/items/racials for this.

    Detect Snares and Pits, Psionic: New power from Mind’s Eye. Too situational to be worth a slot - rely on your skills/items/racials for this.

    Dimensional Pocket: New power from Mind’s Eye. You can hide a weapon - or better yet, a power stone/dorje - literally in the palm of your hand. Also makes pickpocketing a breeze See if your DM will let you apply it to your psicrystal too - if so, this becomes familiar pocket too and becomes a step more useful.

    Disable: This augments nicely - taking down multiple threats with a single casting and scaling quite well. It can also last a long time even at level 1 (10 rounds), though in practice it tends to be much shorter. Targets who cower can be sneak attacked; for the ones that don’t, they typically waste actions - either moving away from you, or possibly even burning spells/powers on healing that they don’t need. The mind-affecting tag is unfortunate though, and there is a lot of wiggle room for the DM to do something unfavorable to your plans, so don’t get too attached. All-in-all, a solid choice for your repertoire, especially if you expect to find yourself outnumbered frequently.

    Distract: Terrible - requires concentration and doesn’t scale at all. If you need to sneak past, use Compression or Control Light instead - they don’t need you to concentrate, and they work on more than one guy at a time. If you need to lie to someone, Conceal Thoughts instead.

    Elfsight: Underwhelming; If seeing in the dark is a problem, there are races and items to deal with that, and they do it better to boot. The bonus also does not scale. However, it does last a long time and the passive secret passage search is handy for you (it’s likely your job to notice that stuff) -
    so if you’re not already an elf, try to get this incarnated on you later.

    Empathy: Another social power, but like so many of the others this one needs concentration. Don’t they think you have better things to do with your standard actions? Though it is a spread, it sadly also requires you to see your target - so no sensing hunger around the corner to know there’s something nasty waiting there.

    Empty Mind: A solid choice. Psions/Ardents may sneer at this - but you don’t have their Will save, and you’re unlikely to have many other uses for your Immediate at low levels. With this, you can confidently forgo the Slippery Mind special for something better. Its benefit also stacks with Defensive Precognition. The major downside is the short duration.

    Entangling Ectoplasm: Fantastic - no save, no PR, lasts 5 rounds, RTA, and scalable (with proper augmentation, you can keep even the tarrasque from charging.) Has both offensive and defensive applications - gum up pursuers to make your getaway, keep a hapless foe firmly in sneak attack range, mess up spellcasters’ movements, and make your target easier to hit (by your entire team no less, not just you.) Either this or Compression should probably be your first power choice, and feel free to take both.

    Far Hand: Utility powers are nice to have, but I would personally get a dorje or stone of this (or even an item like Hand of the Mage), unless you see yourself using it every day.

    Float: Skip - too situational to be worth a slot.

    Force Screen: The duration is a bit short for my tastes, but if you find yourself in melee you may want the boost. You’re unlikely to have a shield bonus from anywhere else, it’s somewhat scalable, it works while dual-wielding (or even with a bow) and it applies to incorporeal touch AC to boot, so give this one a second look.

    Know Direction and Location: You should probably just buy a compass (Then later, UPD a stone of Incarnate to make this permanent on you if you think being separated from your gear will be a problem.)

    My Light: There are plenty of other ways to see in the dark that don’t take up your limited repertoire. Plus, turning your eyes into headlights hampers your ability to sneak around.

    Precognition, Defensive: A comprehensive defensive buff. The bonuses scale quite well and even stack with other defenses you’re likely to have, such as Compression and Empty Mind. Even at first level, the boost lasts all combat long (10 rounds.) Add in the swift action activation later and I see little reason not to take this.

    Precognition, Offensive: Slightly less all-around useful than defensive, but still great for helping your iteratives land. If forced to choose however, I’d go with defensive personally - rogues are called “glass cannon” for a reason.

    Prescience, Offensive: The damage boost is awful - 1 dmg/3 PP is a terrible rate of conversion, and you’re highly unlikely to have the number of attacks needed to make this on par with even mediocre blasting spells. Skip.

    Sense Link: This comes into its own later (level 3) when you can let a target see through your eyes. (After all, you’re the scout, the guy who can sneak or con his way into the king’s ball etc.) But a better option may be just to leave your psicrystal with the party, have it relay what you see, and save the power slot for something else. (Unless you’d like its help.)

    Skate: Not bad, but not really good either. It lets you move faster than Burst (provided you don’t go uphill) and can even help you steal something really heavy (read: 50x your heavy load), so long as you don’t mind looking weird rolling it down the street. (Throw a sheet over it.)

    Vigor: This is never a bad choice, especially if your Con is on the lowish side. It’ll take you awhile to do the V-SP combo, but when it comes online you can be a much tougher nut to crack than a normal rogue. On the other hand, you have Evasion to deal with AoE, and if you’re frequently being aimed at then somebody in your party is doing something wrong... so don’t put as high a premium on this as another manifester would. (But at least you don’t need a feat to get it.)


    2nd-level

    Spoiler
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    Animal Affinity: Get better at sneaking, bluffing, surviving, fighting... anything you like. The only downside is the duration. When you get items to cover enhancement bonuses later, reform this away.

    Aversion: A long-duration save-or-lose. Use your imagination to get the most out of this, but mind the Will Negates tag. Used properly, you can waltz through combat or even walk right into prison to bust your allies out. Combine with Attraction and some stealth, and very few sentries pose a barrier for you - you can reposition them as you please to infiltrate guarded areas, and again bring your companions in tow.

    Body Equilibrium: Walk on water - but you can’t share it, so you may as well sink with the party and get the plot hook, while taking a power that’s actually useful.

    Chameleon: Much more useful for you than it is for psions; lasts a long time too. It goes a long way towards negating the sniping penalty, but unfortunately does not scale. Once you can afford the Skin, reform it.

    Cloud Mind: Psionics’ ghetto invisibility. Close range is unforgivably bad, as everything that would really pose a problem to you has already noticed your presence, plus it’s mind-affecting, plus you can only hide from one target at a time. Stick to Chameleon or just make it dark instead. Yeah, it fools Blindsight too... but so does Darkstalker, so just get that.

    Concealing Amorpha: Psionic Blur. Sure, concealment is good... but why is it purple good? Because it’s required for Shadowmind (and therefore Psicraft+a free power), that’s why.

    Control Object: This gets a couple of points for utility uses, but the combat benefit is on the low side. It’s definitely funny the first time you have a sleeping guard’s keys walk over to you, though.

    Control Sound: A thousand uses. The most obvious is to combine it with Control Light, and sneak yourself (or even the entire party!) past a security checkpoint undetected. It also doubles as mini-Shatter - simply snap your fingers. You can also use it to eavesdrop from a distance away. Finally, with a high Bluff check (which you’ll probably have) you can fool or frighten nearly anybody.

    Darkvision, Psionic: Combined with Control Light, this is a nice way to enable your sneak attacks at lower levels. Your best bet however is to get it from an item or racial. You can also Incarnate it later if you want.

    Detect Hostile Intent: You can consider this “lesser Foresight” - near-immunity to surprise against most enemies, with a nice social buff as icing on the cake. Combos well with Defensive Precognition.

    Feat Leech: Nearly makes you a Chameleon all by itself. Get a psicrystal, cohort or both to make the most of this, and make sure your Wisdom modifier is positive (boost with items or buffs if necessary - it’s a good idea to manifest Animal Affinity prior to use.) There are too many good psionic/metapsionic feats out there for you, but with this you can pull the ones you need out of thin air. Exception: If your DM rules against psicrystals getting feats in your games, this becomes useless and you should skip it.

    Find Traps, Psionic: Find your traps the old-fashioned way (read: let the monk walk in front )

    Knock, Psionic: On the rare occasions where you’d need this (e.g. Arcane Lock) you can either let the caster handle it, or craft/buy an item of it yourself. But if you expect magic locks to start showing up before you can do either of these, feel free to pick it up earlier and reform it later.

    Levitate, Psionic: By RAW, you can manifest this on others and objects like a Nomad can. But even without that benefit, Ranged Psyrogues can plant themselves in mid-air and rain arrows down, close enough for sneak attack but still safe from landlocked chargers/grapplers. Utility uses; raise an item you’re trying to steal up to the ceiling until any potential observers leave the room; lift your psicrystal or a wounded comrade above the battlefield to keep them safe, lift yourself up to the 5th-story window of the heavily-guarded palace, or combine with Control Winds later to “fly.” However, if your DM rules that this is self-only, downgrade to green.

    Object Reading: It’s potentially a great source of information (especially for someone who can purloin items like you can), but suffers the same drawback as many of the other social powers in that exactly what you get out of it is DM-dependent. Since you’re highly unlikely to use this every day, get or make an item of it. It should also help you Identify items too - if this is not the case at your table, drop it to black.

    Read Thoughts: Another DM-dependent power. These are tough to rate. It does actually make you... well, psychic, so I'd consider it for that reason at least.

    Sustenance: Just pack rations, get a ring of sustenance, or get the cleric to make some gruel; you don’t have the slots for something you’ll only manifest once a day if that.

    Thought Shield: This doesn’t scale; It’s also useless against supernatural and extraordinary abilities. Since most of the things this would protect against also have a will save, I’d stick with Empty Mind to protect your head instead, despite the shorter duration.

    Tongues, Psionic: If you’re the face, get this incarnated, then forget about it. If not, skip. Either way, don’t bother actually learning it. Note that it is slightly more limited than regular tongues for some strange reason.

    Wall Walker: Somewhat cool (particularly for ranged PRs) but too situational. In any place that has a high enough ceiling to make this useful, you could levitate instead for longer, and even levitate the party. There’s also a skill trick that does this too (and a feat.)


    3rd-level

    Spoiler
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    Body Adjustment: Rely on items or Vigor to “heal.”

    Body Purification: Rely on items to heal your scores (but feel free to keep a tattoo/dorje of this handy just in case.)

    Concealing Amorpha, Greater: Psionic Displacement - but much better than the magic version. This is great because it grants total concealment, which means neither attacks nor spells can target you at all (this lacks the disclaimer that the displacement spell possesses), though they can still target your square. You aren’t subject to AoOs either - letting you move about the battlefield, or even shoot/manifest while surrounded with impunity. Finally, it’s not an illusion, so by RAW it defeats See Invisibility and even the almighty True Seeing (but not Steadfast Perception or blindsight, so watch out.) Immunity to AoOs and targeted spells makes it a great defensive buff, even with the short duration. You probably already have its little brother though, and they don’t stack.

    Control Air: Why does a rogueish class get this, anyway? It has plenty of uses (e.g. with Levitate you can use this to fly, or you could blow away swarms, and even block arrows) but it’s not really what I’d call “subtle.” It’s here if you want it though.

    Dimension Slide: Personally I’d go with Hop, but this is still nice for getting away from trouble or across chasms (and taking your psicrystal with you, even.)

    Escape Detection: While brilliant in an in-universe context, it’s a bit less practical at the gaming table - after all, if the DM wants the BBEG to know you’re coming, he’ll know you’re coming, or at the very least he’ll know about the very detectable schlubs you’ll likely be traveling with. In either case, you’re unlikely to need this often enough for a slot.

    Hustle: Actions are good. Any questions?

    Keen Edge, Psionic: You’ve got much better choices at this level, and it doesn’t stack with anything that grants a similar benefit.

    Mental Barrier: How I wish this was a dodge bonus... even the fluff supports that. If you don’t have deflection AC from another source by now give this a look, otherwise skip.

    Microkinesis: New power from mind’s eye. Personally I would just use improvised lockpicks (the penalty is minor), but I have to admit this is a very cool visual. What’s nice about this power is that it lets you pick locks without needing your hands (say, you’re in shackles, or paralyzed, or you’re a Tibbit in cat form) so consider picking it up for that reason.

    Telekinetic Force: Great for utility, thievery, even breaking and entering when subtlety is not an option. You should have a couple of utility powers, and this is a great one to pick.

    Ubiquitous Vision: Your Danger Sense makes this largely obsolete; get it incarnated instead, then promptly forget it.


    4th-Level:

    Spoiler
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    Correspond: This kicks Sending’s ass, because it doesn’t require speaking out loud and can be used even while tied up and naked, which is a good time to want to call for backup. It’s perfect for a scout/safecracker/infiltrator to have too. Finally, it also allows you to keep your psicrystal with you (he’s as good a scout as you are) while still reporting in.

    Dimension Door, Psionic: Excellent for getting around, and especially for getting out of dodge (as Nale will attest.)

    Freedom of Movement, Psionic: While this is a great effect as always, you should have a pretty good Escape Artist check, a decent suite of EA-related skill tricks, and of course the ability to shrink. Plus you can still manifest even while pinned/paralyzed, so you can teleport your way to safety if necessary. This therefore isn’t quite as vital for you as it is for other casters/manifesters.

    Steadfast Perception: “Lesser True Seeing.” It lasts longer and even has nice bonuses to your trapmonkeying... but it’s still not quite as good (this doesn’t help you see in the dark, or reveal polymorphed creatures, for instance.) Definitely consider it though.

    Telekinetic Maneuver: How many rogues can (successfully) grapple and bull rush their foes? But beware the size modifier (which may still apply - especially if you’re Compressing.) The need to concentrate is troublesome too. If you can pass this off to your psicrystal to maintain, though, this can be an expensive - yet unexpected - way of enabling sneak attack solo, and a particularly effective one for ranged psyrogues since you run no risk of hitting anyone but your enemy. If you want my opinion though, leave this for the Kineticists. If you must send something out to do your grappling for you, get an astral construct.

    Wall of Ectoplasm: Has several uses, both the wall version (gives you something to hide behind) and the sphere version (take somebody out of the fight, shuts out a light source etc.) My personal opinion is that battlefield control is God’s job, but like Telekinetic Maneuver and Control Winds, this is the kind of ability that nobody expects a rogue to have.


    5th-level:

    Spoiler
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    Adapt Body: Handy for plane-hopping or otherwise unconventional campaigns (and you’re probably doing that by now if you haven’t already) but I’d still get this from an item.

    Feather Weight: New Mind’s Eye Power. I waited 17 levels for ghetto-feather fall and some minor bonuses? I cannot skip fast enough.

    Power Resistance: The catch-all defensive buff, and most of the nastier things that target your weak saves (e.g. insta-gib spells and mind control) are subject to it. Can save your rogue-ish bacon from many things, especially if you pump your ML first.

    Remote Viewing: Spy, even across planes; now that’s what I call casing the joint. The party caster may already have this (or a similar effect) though.

    Retrieve: You’re a psychic thief, so this is a no-brainer; It’s also discounted for you compared to other manifesters.

    True Seeing, Psionic: All the benefits of the magic version (well, except self-only) without hurting your pocketbook via pricey eyedrops. Get this.


    Other Useful Powers


    These are the ones you should look for from Expanded Knowledge, Hidden Talent, and (much later,) Psychic Chirurgery. If you’re in a Monty Haul campaign, it may be a good idea to get as many of these from Chirurgery as you can, and convert your precious Expanded Knowledge feats to other purposes.

    Spoiler
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    1st:
    Astral Construct: Every manifester should have this power. It’s just that good - particularly for classes that have no business being the center of attention (like you.) In addition to just being a melee beast on its own, it can flank with you and/or grapple your enemies, both of which enable your sneak attack. It can also serve as a mount - even flying or swimming as the circumstances warrant. Later it gets truly nasty abilities like supernatural greater invisibility, blindsight, and pounce. An extremely deadly partner-in-crime.

    Charm: A great boon if you’re the face, and much more useful than the magic version due to also incorporating charm monster, as well as the somewhat pumpable DC. You still have to speak (or pantomime) to give commands/courses of action, though.

    Dimension Hop: Swift-action teleportation is a boon for everyone, and doubly-so for melee psyrogues.

    Eidetic Lock: A fun power for a low-combat game. Spies would kill to be able to do the kind of stuff you can do; use Autohypnosis to store a large volume of written information in your head verbatim, then transfer it directly from your mind into that of another willing target in 6 seconds, and without saying a word. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work with magical writing, but can still have interesting applications.

    Energy Ray/Crystal Shard: Your high Dex and sneak attack give you a lot of bang for your buck with these powers, Consider that at level 4, your energy ray can do the same amount of damage as a Psion’s fully-augmented version, but cost half as much. Combine with goodies like Psionic Shot, and you never need to fear being unarmed.

    Grease: The other way to enable sneak attack. It’s handy, but marbles are cheaper than a feat.

    Hammer: Three cool facts about this power: It’s damage doesn’t shrink when you do, it doesn’t discharge when used by RAW, and you can sneak attack with it. This is a great way to land iteratives. Poke someone in the forehead and listen to their neck snap. (If your DM rules that it discharges though, skip it.)

    Minor Creation: So, so much better than the magic version. And that’s before you start synthesizing anthrax various poisons for fun and profit. The usefulness of this ability is dependent on your imagination; Psychic Assassins in particular love it.

    Sensory Gloom: The fort negates is troublesome, but this is otherwise what Cloud Mind SHOULD have been - a powerful debuff that benefits your entire team, enables multiple sneak attacks against a target (both for the “touch” and “sight” uses), scales, and can shut off troublesome senses that may otherwise detect you.

    Synchronicity: Be ready for anything... or even two anythings, with Quicken/Twin/Linked power. Action abuse is great for anyone to have, especially cheap action abuse.

    2nd:
    Amethyst Burst: Swarms and incorporeal targets are the bane of many rogues. With just one power, you can take them both on; the scaling is weak though. It might be better just to let the other casters handle them, but it’s good to have the option yourself.

    Clairvoyant Sense: Why isn’t this a baseline power for psyrogues... Anyway, use this to safely look around corners or behind doors, including in pitch blackness (even if you don’t have darkvision yet.) You can even scope out a location - like that rich house you plan to burgle later - from the tavern across the street while you drink with your buddies, and nobody will be the wiser; no crystal balls, bowls of water or teal leaves to give you away. You don’t even have to concentrate on it.

    Crystalstorm: Crystal Shard’s big brother. You can get an insane amount of effective damage out of this by attacking their HP from both ends. Between this and Energy Ray, your blasting needs should be covered.

    Earth Walk: Climb like a pro (at full speed, and even across ceilings) and keep your dex bonus to AC while you do so. A dorje of this could be handy early on.

    Psionic Lion’s Charge: A must-have for melee rogues; get in there and shred some kidneys. The augment has great returns too, giving you (# of attacks) worth of damage for every PP spent, or a 3:1 ratio at higher levels. With a high initiative, you can easily take someone out of the fight in an instant.

    Psychoportive Shelter: On a long mission behind enemy lines? Feel free to take a snooze too, and put the entire party up while you’re at it, without fearing discovery. Another caster in the party should already have this though.

    Share Pain: The other half of the V-SP combo; this can save your bacon if you plan on being in melee a lot.

    3rd:
    Dispel Psionics: You’re a full manifester, so you can go toe-to-toe with other casters in this department; plus it gives you another (potentially safer) way to handle magical traps. The augment gets you up to GDM levels as well.

    Solicit Psicrystal: A lot of your powers (especially the social ones) need concentration. This will allow you to multitask more effectively, and makes your pet rock that much more valuable. A great choice
    for social campaigns, as it lets you keep some powers running in the background while freeing up your actions. Combined with Schism, you can theoretically concentrate on 3-4 powers at once, or have your psicrystal concentrate on something for you while still having actions free.

    Time Hop: An amazingly versatile power - useful both in combat and out of it. Can even be used to save yourself if you get discovered - hop forward a few seconds to when they’ve already ran off looking for you, then hide. (Bonus points if they start trying to find wherever you “teleported” to.)

    Touchsight: You can “see” no matter how dark it is. The keys to this power are “you pinpoint all creatures” and “you ignore concealment” which taken collectively mean you can sneak attack. Even unaugmented, this thing has much larger range than you’re ever likely to need, but you can make it even wider if necessary and it lasts all-combat long. Check with your DM if this lets you automatically interact with illusions too (they’re neither objects nor creatures, so you should automatically get a will save - your eyes and your field will be giving you conflicting data.) And as if all that weren’t enough, it trumps Darkstalker, letting you even out-thief other thieves. A fantastic choice.

    4th:
    Fly: By now, you should really already have this ability in item or feat form... but if you don’t, it’s here.

    Intellect Fortress: Evasion for all, and improved Evasion for you. Plus it affects other things, like ability damage. I’d leave it for the casters though.

    Metamorphosis: If this is allowed at your table, you have no reason to skip it - it has way too many uses to ignore. More importantly, it replaces all your physical stats - instantly compensating you for favoring Int over Dex throughout your career. But do note that you can replicate its effect with a Skin of Proteus.

    Psychic Reformation: This power is almost mandatory for any manifester that can get it, but you may not need to learn it (a stone or two will do.) It’s particularly useful for rearranging your skills and even skill tricks. (For instance - after you get that dorje of Psionic Knock, you can probably reallocate some of those Open Lock points elsewhere.)

    Schism: Mental actions are a big part of what you do; this gives you more of them. Definitely get it if you can/the game goes high enough.

    5th: (Note: can only be learned via psychic chirugery or research pre-epic)

    Anticipatory Strike: Psionic Greater Celerity. An 5th-level power for an 8th-level spell seems like a sweet trade to me, especially if you add on metapsionics.

    Ectoplasmic Shambler: By RAW, this messy monster only hampers the vision of people caught inside. Drop it on your enemies from far away and sneak attack them with impunity, since they can’t see you. It really messes with casters too, forcing concentration checks with no save and no SR.

    Incarnate: Psionic permanency - there are a number of useful buffs you should place on yourself with this power. But rather than pay for a chirurgery, it may be cheaper to just get a few stones of this (or a dorje) instead, since the list is so small, and you likely won’t be using it anymore once you’ve gotten the buffs you want.

    Major Creation: Can be handy. The real casters may have better use for it though.

    Plane Shift: It’s here if you need it, but I’d leave it for the casters.
    Last edited by Psyren; 2014-09-14 at 10:41 PM.
    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] Thinking on your Feet: The Psychic Rogue Handbook

    Prestige Classes



    While Rogues have very little reason to stay in their base class, Psychic Rogues are nearly the opposite - they have very little reason to leave. There are few to no prestige classes that offer comparable sneak attack progression and ML progression to simply staying in the base class, and the bonus feats gained at 11+ are another strong incentive not to PrC out.

    Having said that, there are a scant few options that offer unique and useful abilities; some with minimal sacrifice, and some with a large shift in direction that may be worth it depending on your concept. I’ll leave it to you to ultimately decide, while again providing my ratings.

    Good prestige classes are those that do one or more of the following:
    - Progress your manifesting at least 7/10 (So you can access 5ths/EK 4ths pre-epic.)
    - Don’t shift your stat reliance away from Int/Dex
    - Grant new skills for you to sink points into
    - Grant access to new powers, proficiencies, or both

    Here is the format this section will use:
    Class Name (Source): Description.
    Manifesting: How much manifesting progression you get to keep (and which levels are lost to aid dippers.)
    Sneak Attack: How much sneak attack progression you keep (and total sneak attack if the remainder of levels are psyrogue levels.)
    Skills: How many skill points you get per level (plus any new skills that you can learn from this class.)
    Earliest Entry: The level you must be before you can enter the PrC (and the reason why.)
    Sample Build(s): Sample configurations of this class with Psyrogue.

    Note 1: some of these classes are psionic adaptations of magical PrCs. Some are more clearly explained as to how they should be modified than others. Ultimately, if you want to take an adapted PrC, talk with your DM and come to an agreement on what the class should be capable of. For the ones that aren’t clear, I’ve provided some suggestions to help guide the conversation, but keep in mind that your DM may have different ideas - possibly requiring psionic focus/PP expenditure to access some abilities, or even banning them entirely.

    Note 2: Related to the above point - none of the magical-psionic adaptations address their skill list, thus leaving you with things like Spellcraft and, in some cases UMD, if you go strictly by the text. Discuss with your DM whether these will be left as-is (granting you access to these new skills) or if they will instead be replaced with Psicraft and UPD respectively.

    Anima Psion (ToM):
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    The psionic adaptation to Anima Mage. Though both this class and Binder are lacking in the skills department, the vestiges make up for it - giving you access to lots of skill bonuses (particularly the interaction skills), and even limited sneak attack+sudden strike to shore up your greatly diminshed sneak progression. Start with Psychic Rogue to train yourself in a number of skills, then rely on careful vestige choice to grant them the bonuses you need.

    You’ll have to work with your DM to determine exactly what class features (aside from the Binding, of course) you’ll get to keep with this. For what it’s worth, I suggest the following changes:

    Exploit Vestige: grants bonus PP = base cost of highest-level power you’re capable of manifesting. Name and other parameters remain unchanged.
    Vestigial Awareness: Unchanged.
    Vestige Metamagic: Apply a metapsionic feat for free without increasing the PP cost of the power or expending focus. Change name to “Vestige Metapsionics.”
    Vestige Casting: Manifest any power as an immediate action 1/day, with all associated displays automatically suppressed. You must still pay the PP cost of that power, including all desired augmentation and other adjustments. You may apply metapsionics to that power as normal, expending your focus to do so. Change name to “Vestige Manifestation.” Other parameters unchanged.

    Assuming one Binder level, you’ll end up EBL 11, which for max vestige purposes is treated as EBL 13 with Improved Binding. This gives you two vestiges up to 6th-level; picking Andromalius and Malphas for example will give you Sneak Attack and Sudden Strike. You will thus have a total of 6d6 sneak attack (3d6 from 9 levels of psyrogue + 3d6 from EBL 11 Andromalius) as well as 3d6 sudden strike from Malphas, and the supernatural ability to turn invisible every 5 rounds. Alternatively, bind the Triad + Arete for +28 PP (an increase of 16 PP over going Psyrogue 20), a suite of useful bonus powers, and the ability to make Psicraft checks untrained. Naberius, Paimon, and Haures are also worth a look.
    Note: with cheese, you can use the poor wording of this class to enter with no binder levels. Doing so costs you an extra feat, but also allows you nab an extra level of Psychic Rogue, ending your progression with 7d6 sneak attack+3d6 sudden strike. This will take a fairly permissive DM however.

    Manifesting: 10/10
    Sneak Attack: 0/10 (3/10 with Andromalius + 3/10 sudden strike with Malphas: total 6d6-9d6)
    Skills: 2+Int
    Earliest entry: 6 (2nd-level powers and vestiges.)
    Sample Build(s): Psyrogue 5/Binder 1/Anima Psion 10/Psyrogue +4)


    Chameleon (RoD):
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    There is a very vague psionic adaptation to this class (RoD pg. 116), but even with no psionic connection at all, a 2-level dip is nice for the floating feat (typically a crafting feat, so you can more easily make your own gear.)

    By my reading, the adaptation can be applied in three ways:
    1) Instead of being limited to set uses/day, allow PP expenditures to activate the existing Chameleon features (Aptitude Focus and Mimic Class Feature). You can thus Mimic or Refocus more often in a day, but at the cost of having less PP available.
    2) Create a “Psychic Focus” that grants the Chameleon an allotment of PP and powers known from the Psion, Lurk or even your own list.
    3) A combination of the above.

    Using any of the above adaptations upgrades Chameleon to blue; with those in place, you could feel free to take it all the way (or at least to 8, allowing you to still pick up Skill Mastery.) Note that you’ll need to be a human subtype or half-breed to take this class.
    Manifesting: 0/10: 20/10 casting (or manifesting, depening on DM) from independent progression.
    Sneak Attack: 3/10 (via emulate sneak attack; 6d6 total)
    Skills: 4+Int
    Earliest entry: 5 (8 ranks in Bluff.)
    Sample Build(s): Psyrogue 5/Chameleon 2/Psyrogue +13; Psyrogue 5/Chameleon 10/Psyrogue +5. You may need a dip or feat to get the necessary ranks in Spellcraft/Psicraft.


    Cognition Thief (PGtF):
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    This PrC, like PGtF itself, is in a weird sort of limbo between 3.0 and 3.5; thankfully it still works fine for you even if it does use legacy terminology like “powers discovered.” (If the text gets confusing, just stick to the table.) It loses quite a bit of ML, some skill points, at least 1d6 sneak attack and costs two dud feats to enter... but what do you get in return? How does access to the Telepathy discipline list, up to 4th-level (5th if you wait until 17 to enter this class) sound?

    The biggest standouts here are Schism (a fantastic buff, especially given how much of your own powers require concentration to work), Modify Memory (“You don’t remember who stole the crown jewels”) and False Sensory Input, which even fools anti-theft measures like True Seeing or scent. Waiting until 17 gets you powers you couldn’t get otherwise, like Mind Probe (now that’s what I call interrogation), and Metaconcert. Finally, the class is ambiguously worded - it is unclear whether you can pick any Telepathy powers, or just the ones specific to Telepaths that other psions can’t get. If the former is allowed, you can get useful Telepathy powers from the general list like Psychic Reformation and Catapsi.

    Note: don’t pick up powers below 4th with this - you can get those with EK at or before the same level, without losing ML, skills or sneak attack for the privilege, and you’ll be blowing two feats getting in here anyway. Second, either dip 1 level (gain 2 telepathy powers for -1 ML) or 4 (+4 telepathy powers for -2 ML); more is an option but isn’t recommended given what you’re giving up, and you’re unlikely to get to the next tier of bonus powers before epic.

    All in all it’s an okay tradeoff... but personally, I think Wilders have more to get out of this class than you do.
    Manifesting: 6/10 (loses 1, 4, 7, 10; works out to 2/4 or 4/7 casting in practical terms)
    Sneak Attack: 0/10 (5d6 - 6d6 total)
    Skills: 4+Int
    Earliest entry: 13 (4th-level powers for EK: Psionic Blast)
    Sample Build(s): Psyrogue 13/CT 4/Psyrogue +3.


    Daggerspell Psion (CAdv):
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    This psionic adaptation of the Daggerspell Mage (CAdv pg. 32) isn’t very fleshed out, but it does give you 10/10 manifesting and 6+Int skills. You also get some odd ones (e.g. Survival, Ride, Handle Animal.) I’m not sure how you’d use a dagger from horseback, so I consider this questionable at best; if you’re interested in this class, try to focus on the skills it has in common with yours, like Tumble and Hide/MS.

    As for the class features, you’ll have to work most of these out with your DM. My personal suggestion is to make the following adjustments:
    - Daggercast allows you to deliver touch powers with your daggers. You may also automatically suppress your displays while holding a dagger in each hand. (Name change: Daggermind.)
    - Invocation of the Knife affects energy powers instead of spells. Name change: Mantra of the Knife.
    - Double Daggercast and Arcane Throw apply to touch powers. Name changes: Psionic Throw and Dual Daggermind.
    - Arcane Infusion is activated by spending X PP and psionic focus; it lasts for X/2 rounds, rounded down. (Name change: Psionic Infusion.)
    - Daggerspell Flurry lets you quicken a power for free during a full-attack; you also don’t have to expend your focus to quicken in this way. (Name change: Daggermind Flurry.)

    The usefulness of this PrC depends totally on what exactly your DM lets you do with it, which makes it hard to rate. It doesn’t cost you any sneak attack and barely any ML though, which keeps it at least in the black. Favorable modifications to its abilities (like those I’ve suggested above) can push it to green or even blue.

    (I hate the name btw - couldn't WotC have called it "Daggermind" or something? Anything but the word "spell...")

    Manifesting: 9/10 (loses 1st)
    Sneak Attack: 3/10 (7d6 total)
    Skills: 4+Int
    Earliest entry: 5 (Conc 8 ranks)
    Sample Build(s): Psyrogue 5/DP 10/Psyrogue +5 (7d6 sneak attack.)


    Ebon Saint (CPsi):
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    This class doesn’t get enough coverage in my opinion. Not saying it’s great or terrible; just that it goes unnoticed, which is perversely fitting I suppose. You lose a few skills and skillpoints (the same ones the Lurk is missing) though you do at least gain Psicraft, and you lose one ML and a point of sneak attack. In return. you get a fun ability - Dire Strike, a mini-death attack that applies a debuff to the target instead of killing/paralyzing them but only requires one round of study. There is a combat-related debuff associated but that has nothing on the other stuff you get:
    Thought Theft: You know of nearby danger that the subject knows of. Handy for guards, and especially handy for the rich guy whose safe you’re about to crack. It’s cheap and there’s no harm in using it, but it gets largely eclipsed by Mind Interrogation.
    Mind Interrogation: This could be a campaign breaker; You know the answer to one question your target knows, no save, no SR, instantaneous duration, and it’s not even mind-affecting. Study them again and whack, you know another answer. Keep the big bad’s minions alive (and later, the big bad himself!) and beat the crap out of them with your sap until you know everything; this makes waterboarding and even Mind Probe look like child’s play.
    Steal Form: Supernatural Alter Self into your victim, for up to an hour, and you can store multiple forms to cycle through. This can be very handy for infiltrating, especially if you kill your victims (which would be a bit like Assimilate, come to think of it.) So as if it weren’t enough that you can know everything the target knows, you can also wear his face. Assassinating the king was never this easy.
    Disappear from the Mind: Hit someone so hard with nonlethal that they forget you existed. Personally I think it’s easier to just Modify Memory them, but this at least comes online earlier.

    Ebon Saint’s niche is infiltration; Alter Self and the knowledge-stealing abilities can get you in just about anywhere. The class is also lightweight, letting you fit in plenty of special abilities. The feats, skills and sneak attack are unfortunate prices to pay, however, and keep this class from blue status.
    Manifesting: 4/5 (loses 1st)
    Sneak Attack: 1/5 (6d6 total)
    Skills: 4+Int
    Earliest entry: 5 (8 ranks various skills)
    Sample Build(s): Psyrogue 5/ES 5/Psyrogue +10 (6d6 sneak attack.)


    Elocater (XPH):
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    This is a decent choice for melee psyrogues who don’t mind having a little more of a mobility focus. While the feat requisites aren’t great and you lose a fair amount of sneak attack, you gain a great deal in exchange: discounted teleport and plane shift (each one equivalent to a feat by itself), the ability to flank from multiple angles and 10-foot step, and the ability to ignore bad terrain. Check with your DM if Scorn Earth helps you move more quietly than normal (in addition to just negating noisy terrain penalties.) Capricious Step, O-Strike and Flanker provide enough benefit to your sneak attack to make up for the d6s you lose by PrCing out (i.e. you can 10-foot pounce). Finally, not only do you keep your skillpoints high - you actually gain a skill (Psicraft) from this class. A good breakpoint for this class is level 7; Dimension Spring Attack and Accelerated Action aren’t really worth losing another ML, 1d6 sneak attack, and the 2 specials you give up. (equivalent to giving up 2 feats, or Skill Mastery+Feat.)
    Manifesting: 7/10 (loses 2,5,8)
    Sneak Attack: 0/10 (but flanker, at least theoretically, lets you use it more often.)
    Skills: 6+Int
    Earliest Entry: 6 (+4 BAB for Spring Attack)
    Sample Build(s): Psyrogue 6/Elocater 7/Psyrogue +7)


    Mindbender (CArc):
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    A very solid choice for a dip - specifically, the psionic adaptation (CArc pg. 54.) This class scores a trifecta right out of the gate by having easy requirements, not losing any ML progression, and giving you a boost to both of your weak saves. As if that weren’t enough, you get Telepathy, which leads to the awesome Mindsight, and best of all you get all knowledge skills as class skills. The only downside is the power level requirement (and you need a telepathy power at that level too, don’t forget - you don’t have any, which pushes this all the way to mid-levels.) The skill points are pretty thin too - another reason not to stay long.

    If your DM lets you use the magical requirements instead (i.e. just needs Psionic Charm) then upgrade this to purple and make sure you grab it.
    Manifesting: 5/10 (loses evens)
    Sneak Attack: 0/10
    Skills: 2+Int
    Earliest Entry: 13 (Need a 3rd-level or higher Telepathy power, i.e. 4th-level powers for EK)
    Sample Build(s): Psyrogue 13/MB 1/Psyrogue +6)


    Psibond Agent (CSco):
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    This prestige class is kind of creepy and cool. But despite the seemingly fitting combo of psionics and scoundrelly-ness, it’s not a good choice for you; between the total lack of manifesting progression and the Charisma-based class-features, you’re best entering with a different base. (I recommend a Bard or Rogue with WT/HT.)
    The Psibond itself is pretty neat (supernatural dominate monster is quite deadly, especially given how early you get it) but I’m mainly mentioning the class because it’s more of a trap for you. If you still want to give it a shot, Changelings can do well due to the language requirements. And if you’re interested in what this class can really do, it was the subject of an Iron Chef Optimization Challenge on GitP.
    Manifesting: 0/10
    Sneak Attack: 3/10 (7d6 total)
    Skills: 6+Int
    Earliest Entry: 5 (Gather Information 8 ranks)
    Sample Build(s): Psyrogue 5/Psibond Agent 10/Psyrogue +5)


    Psionic Trickster (CSco):
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    The Magical Trickster from Complete Scoundrel has a psionic adaptation (CSco pg. 47); unlike most other psionic adaptations of this nature, this one is actually given more meat than simply “hey, you could probably homebrew this if you want.” The main benefit to this class is that you can recharge your skill tricks by spending a flat PP cost (2) as a swift action. With the right skill tricks, this is almost like gaining another suite of powers for free. Combined with the lightweight nature of the class (i.e. it’s easy to squeeze into many builds) and this choice has quite a bit going for it.

    Good skill tricks (though there aren’t a ton) are noted in the Skills and Skill Tricks section, but that list becomes slightly modified once you take recharging into account; some skill tricks that aren’t so good due to their one-off nature become fantastic when made repeatable. For instance, you can spam gems like Back on Your Feet or Easy Escape if your DM is trip/grapple happy respectively.

    Fluffwise it’s a slam dunk, even better than the Magical Trickster; you’re literally using your mind to push your body. That fluff combined with the easy prereqs and handy abilities make it pretty solid.
    Manifesting: 2/3 (loses 1st.)
    Sneak Attack: 0/3 (total 6d6)
    Skills: 4+Int (Grants Know (arcana) and Know (religion))
    Earliest Entry: 9 (3rd-level powers) Note that plenty of the good tricks have high skill reqs though, and you need 2 to qualify.
    Sample Build(s): Psyrogue 11/PT 3/Psyrogue +6


    Psion Uncarnate (XPH):
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    This PrC can be summed up with one question: “Why pick locks, when you can walk through walls instead?” The lack of skills, lost ML, dead entry feat, and very limited incorporeality (especially prior to the capstone) do make this a tough sell, but aside from those negatives there’s still a fair amount of synergy here. The Incorporeal Touch is a nice attack - up to 3d6 untyped, usable at-will while incorporeal, hits other incorporeal creatures, and can be sneak attacked with. While incorporeal, you get a perfect fly speed equal to your land speed, so pile on as many boosters as you can prior to shedding. The Assume Likeness ability is tailor-made for a roguish-type, and is a great way to cover your skin if you’re caught infiltrating somewhere you’re not supposed to be. (It probably won’t stack with a changeling’s Minor Change Shape ability, but talk with your DM.) At-will supernatural Telekinetic Force will let you pull off unbelievable feats of “strength.” Uncarnate Bridge gives you a very unique way to escape from a bad situation, or at the very least gain some distance on possible pursuit. And of course, incorporeality itself has plenty of benefits for a sneak on its own - you become perfectly silent, difficult/impossible to detect with nonvisual senses, very hard to hit with anything, and most importantly for a psychic thief, you can get into just about anywhere. In fact, the capstone is (Ex), allowing you to stay ghostly even in an AMF, NPF or dead magic area. (Only incorporeal undead wink out in an AMF.)

    The biggest failing of this class is the inability to take all your gear with you when you transform. At a mere 1 item/level until the capstone, Assume Equipment takes far too long to cover everything you’re likely to be wearing - which generally means stripping mostly naked and either handing your stuff to the party or keeping it all in your Assumed bag of holding whenever you want to walk through walls. Even once you’ve become permanently uncarnate, Assume Equipment limits you to 10 items.

    All-in-all, the class is unique, but its flaws keep it from a stronger recommendation. Show your DM the Pathfinder version and see if that one can be allowed instead (you can get ghostly without leaving your gear behind almost from the start, and it’s still balanced), but this one still isn’t totally bad.
    Manifesting: 6/10 (loses 1,4,7,10)
    Sneak Attack: 0/10 (4d6 total)
    Skills: 2+Int
    Earliest Entry: 9 (3rd-level powers)
    Sample Build(s): Psyrogue 10/Psion Uncarnate 10)


    Psychic Assassin (ME):
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    This is the PrC most people think of when they consider options for their Psychic Rogue, but I just don't see what all the fuss is about. Pretty much everything this PrC offers you (save the highly-impractical-in-combat Death Attack), you can get just by staying in Psyrogue, and without losing 5 ML. They have the same Danger Sense, the same BAB, the same proficiencies, the same saves, and even the same special abilities. You do get the pretty awesome Hide in Plain Sight... at 8th-level (ECL 13) which costs you 4 ML - by then you should be able to afford an item to do it instead, like Collar of Umbral Metamorphosis. Minor poison-related buffs round out this underwhelming entry. Just stay in psyrogue and call yourself an assassin, imo.
    Manifesting: 5/10 (loses odds)
    Sneak Attack: 4/10 (8d6 total)
    Skills: 4+Int
    Earliest Entry: 5 (ML 5th)
    Sample Build(s): Psychic Rogue 5/Psychic Assassin 10/Psychic Rogue +5


    Shadowmind (CAdv):
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    Complete Adventurer brings us an interesting PrC designed for psions with a sneaky side. Its extremely easy prereqs, however, are even more tailor-made for Psychic Rogues. This is also one of the few psionic PrCs in all of 3.5 that does not lose ML on entry; combined with its easy requirements, access to nearly all your skills, and even getting you Psicraft(!), I highly recommend a dip here for any Psyrogue build.

    A good aspect to Shadowminds is how frontloaded they are - you get two bonus powers in the first 2 levels of the PrC, followed by a slew of dead levels until 9 and 10. You can thus drop out after 3 levels, losing no sneak attack progression and only 1 ML, but gaining two bonus powers in exchange - equivalent to two free Expanded Knowledges, a very nice trade. Read thoughts and cloud mind aren’t the most scintillating addtions to your arsenal... however, the adaptation (CAdv pg. 74) lets you pick pretty much any two powers you can thematically justify, similar to the Ardent’s Mantle Substitution, even from discipline lists (read thoughts, the first power given, is a Telepath-only power.) The two powers given appear to top out at 2nd-level, so this is the power level you can shoot for when making your substitutions. For instance, pick a theme like “Sniper” and you can justify getting energy ray and chameleon for free. Or pick “Traceur” and you can get skate and hustle for your many getaways.

    Even if only the two suggested subs given are allowed, I would go with “Thought Killer” (i.e. conceal thoughts and energy stun), for a handy upgrade over the standard Shadowmind.

    The other class feature of note is the PP reduction on your bonus powers above. This makes choosing powers that can be augmented paramount, and provides a decent incentive to stay in the class if you want to take it all the way. (-10 PP is a big deal to something like a ray spell.) If you do take it all the way, you get a bonus 5th-level power (it can actually go higher based on precedent, e.g. Personal Mind Blank and Mass Cloud Mind, but 5th is your limit pre-epic); however, you lose 3 ML, so be sure to pick up Practiced Manifester. The Mind Stab capstone is underwhelming, however.
    Manifesting: 7/10 (loses 2,5,8)
    Sneak Attack: 3/10 (7d6 total)
    Skills: 4+Int (Grants Psicraft)
    Earliest Entry: 5 (+3 BAB and concealing amorpha)
    Sample Build(s): Psyrogue 5/Shadowmind 10/Psyrogue 5; Psyrogue 5/Shadowmind 3/Psyrogue 12


    Soul Manifester (ME):
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    As with binding, incarnum offers nice benefits for a skill-focused character. Of special note for Incarnum are the large number of natural attacks you can gain via Totemist melds, granting you many extra sources of sneak attack; however, both Incarnate and Totemist melds can boost your skills to large degrees. The lack of sneak attack, and the necessity of a decent Con score (you need at least 13 to enter, and more for a decent number of soulmelds) weakens this option relative to Anima Psion. The chassis of this class is underwhelming - d4 HD, 2+Int skills, one good save, and no sneak attack. Finally, you can get any of the soulmelds, and even several of the chakra binds, through feats and powers alone, so why take this class at all?

    Well, the main reason is that there are a lot of useful soulmelds for you, and this class helps you take multiple melds without burning multiple feats. Psion’s Eyes, Theft Gloves, Shadow Mantle, Truesight Goggles, Blink Shirt and Airstep Sandals are all great boons for a psychic rogue to have - being able to wear them and progress your manifesting at the same time is even better. The chakra binds and essentia help you to make the most of your arsenal as well, allowing you to bind select favorites without needing the Open Chakra power.

    While an in-depth discussion on the merits of incarnum is beyond the scope of this guide, I can provide general pointers:

    1) Incarnate melds tend to give Insight bonuses, while Totemist melds tend to give Competence; choose your powers accordingly for maximum stacking benefit.
    2) Totemist melds can also give you more natural attacks, which can be finessed and sneak attacked with if you’re going melee.

    The total lack of sneak attack is a heavy turnoff for me personally (Anima Psion at least gives you another way of getting some), and many of the “skillmelds” let you make their checks untrained, which means you don’t actually need much of a skillmonkey chassis to make good use of them at all. In summary, I’d say the Soul Manifester is more attractive for a psion, ardent or psywar (or even a Lurk) looking to pick up some skillmonkeying on the side, rather than for an already capable skill-based class.. They’re likely to have more points to spare to Con than you do too. I’m open to any truly neat tricks however.
    Manifesting: 10/10
    Sneak Attack: 0/10
    Skills: 2+Int
    Earliest Entry: 6 (2nd-level powers + 3 Soulmelds. You can technically get in at 5 if you pay through the nose in feats.)
    Sample Build(s): Psyrogue 5/Incarnate 1/Soul Manifester 10/Psyrogue +4; Psyrogue 5


    Uncanny Trickster (CSco):
    Spoiler
    Show
    Like Psionic Trickster, this progresses your manifesting - and even goes a step further by proressing your other class features too (Special Abilities, Sneak Attack, Danger Sense etc.) It’s not quite as good with Skill Tricks as Psionic Trickster, as the recharge mechanic is only usable once, though it’s still better with them than most other PrCs. The other plus side to it is that it doesn’t need an adaptation to be psionic, so if you want a skill-tricky PrC and have an adaptation-averse DM this gets another leg up.

    Where I tip my hat to UT is the skills department. You get a whopping 8+Int skills in this PrC, the highest of any option in the game that also progresses your manifesting and sneak attack. As an added bonus, you also get UMD, making it one of the few PrCs to do this and progress manifesting. This class therefore becomes one of the best ways to get both decent UPD and UMD scores pre-epic; two levels of this PrC properly spaced out can allow you to max UMD even without access to Able Learner, while the third allows you to recover from the 8 points you’d have spent on skill tricks to enter. Not bad at all.

    As this PrC has very little features other than the skill tricks themselves, that section can help you evaluate this class better. If you like skill tricks, give this one a look. (Neat strategy: You can enter Psionic Trickster first with 2 skill tricks - the two free tricks you get from that class will get you to the 4 you need for this one, saving you 4 skill points and some skill trick slots
    Manifesting: 2/3 (loses 1st.)
    Sneak Attack: 1/3 (depends when you take it; 0/3 also possible. 6d6-7d6 total)
    Skills: 8+Int (adds UMD)
    Earliest Entry: 8 (4 skill tricks)
    Sample Build(s): Psyrogue 8/UT 3/Psyrogue +9
    Last edited by Psyren; 2012-02-27 at 08:49 PM.
    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.

  7. - Top - End - #7
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    Default Re: [3.5] Thinking on your Feet: The Psychic Rogue Handbook

    Skills and Skill Tricks


    At heart you’re a rogue , so much of the same skill priority they have will apply to you. There are a couple of shifts in priority between psychic rogues and their mundane cousins, but you should have roughly the same amount of skill points to throw around, or possibly even a little more if you go for an Int-focused build (but be aware that you also have more key places to put the points.)

    Rules of Thumb:
    - Max skills that you expect to use daily, and that have high DCs (either due to being scaling opposed checks, e.g. the stealth skills, or due to having high DCs in general, e.g. Knowledge skills.)
    - Put at least one point into each of your “Trained only” skills (like Sleight of Hand), whether you plan on using them or not. You want to be able to at least make the check.

    A rundown on your class skills follows below:

    Spoiler
    Show
    Appraise: At later levels, you can hire an NPC for this, and at early levels you won’t find much of value. And that’s assuming your DM even uses it. It’s not a total dud though; if it’s ever relevant it will likely be relevant at lower levels (when you’re more strapped for cash), so you can always put lots of points in early on to help make a buck, and reform them out later.
    Autohypnosis: Tons of great uses; max it. As a bonus, it even helps you deal with Craven’s drawback.
    Balance: Get the necessary 5 points in so you can balance without being flat-footed, then ignore it.
    Bluff: If you’re the face, max it - aside from being good on its own, several of your powers rely on it. If you’re not, get the 5 points for the great synergies and move along.
    Climb: You likely don’t have the points for this, plus you have much easier ways to get around. If you feel the need to invest in this while starting out, be sure to reform the points away into something more useful later.
    Concentration: You’ll frequently need to manifest in a fight, including life-saving techniques like teleporting away, shrinking out of a grapple, or turning the lights out while you’re being shot at. Max it.
    Craft: Combine with creation powers to synthesize your on poisons, items and traps. I’d only put a few points here though, and rely on your Int and other modifiers to go the distance. If you have no plans on making these things, skip.
    Decipher Script: Unlike UMD, UPD gets no synergy bonus from this, so there’s nothing really here for you and the points are better spent elsewhere. If someone else in the party can decipher things and you come across something you can’t read, simply use Autohypnosis instead to memorize it perfectly, and reproduce it for that person. Definitely drop a point in though so you can at least make the check; you may get lucky.
    Diplomacy: If you’re the face this is vital, particularly if you have low Cha. Between this and Bluff your face needs should be covered.
    Disable Device: While you can safely trigger a lot of traps without this (e.g. use a level 1 Astral Construct), I still think it’s a good idea to put some points in so you can conserve PP and your other more finite resources. Making a DD check doesn’t cost any power points, after all. If you expect lots of magical/psionic traps in your future, a +45 mod is worth shooting for after items/buffs. For low-trap campaigns, however, skip.
    Disguise: You don’t have illusions or alter self (and can’t get those things from UPD), so you may need a better skill mod here than normal rogues typically do. Once you get a Hat of Disguise or similar, you can reform some of your points out of this. If you expect True Seeing to be a fixture in your campaign, however, note that nothing can fool people quite like a well-constructed mundane disguise and run-of-the-mill bluff check.
    Escape Artist: Getting grappled or restrained sucks - but between Compression, teleportation effects, and Freedom of Movement, you have advantages to escape restraints that regular rogues don’t get. However, definitely drop some points here to save your psionics for when they’re truly needed. A +15 mod is a good place to get to (letting you escape from masterwork manacles - say, Antimagic Shackles - by taking 20, then getting your powers back to help the others.) Similarly, 12 ranks can get you all the relevant skill tricks for this. Your powers/items can get you out of tighter jams.
    Forgery: This is fun solely because only other rogues really stand a chance against you. But in the end there are better skills and it’s unlikely to come up in a campaign.
    Gather Information: Very campaign-dependent. If you feel you need to, drop a few points here.
    Hide: You don’t have invisibility (and Cloud Mind sucks), so... max it. (Of course, it’s a good idea to max it even if you did have those things, since it helps you sneak attack.)
    Intimidate: Bluff and Diplomacy should really be “face” enough. It’s not bad but you have too many other places to drop points and the party meatshield can have some fun with this. (Or you can kind of just point at him for a nice circumstance bonus while he’s filing his nails with a battleaxe or something.)
    Jump: Put in 5 points for the Tumble synergy and then ignore it.
    Knowledge (local): Perhaps the weakest knowledge skill. Put in a point to train yourself and ignore it, unless you need it for a PrC. (Your Int modifier, and powers like Call to Mind, can do the heavy lifting.)
    Knowledge (psionics): Excellent all-purpose skill, and gives you a synergy bonus on Psicraft checks too. Definitely drop some points here, or max if you’re the only psionic class in the party.
    Listen: Another one to max. The worst sound an enemy can make is the one you don’t hear.
    Move Silently: It’s a good idea to max this too, but it’s easier to make yourself inaudible than invisible.
    Open Lock: Great early on (and people will expect you to have it), but there’s too many other ways to do this later, so feel free to reform the points away. (But leave at least 1 in so you can make the checks if needed.)
    Perform: Singing and dancing is for schmucks minstrels, not secret agents. I don’t care how good a cover story it is, stop that.
    Profession: DO quit your day job. If you need dough, you have much more lucrative ways of getting it.
    Search: Traps and secret doors are your job, so don’t neglect this. If you can get to a +20 modifier (find well-hidden secret doors and all magical traps while taking 10), then you’re good and can typically stop putting points here.
    Sense Motive: You want at least 5 points for the Diplomacy synergy, but it doesn’t hurt to put more points in. The lie you catch may be the one that saves your life.
    Sleight of Hand: Drop a point in so you can do it trained. It’s not really worth maxing in my opinion but it could still come in handy... depends a lot on the campaign.
    Spot: Max, always. In D&D, what you don’t see can definitely kill you.
    Swim: Unless your campaign is aquatic, skip skip skip. If your campaign is aquatic, spare a couple of points here because it’s cheaper than using powers, at least early on. (Later when you have magic items to help with the deeps, retrain your points out of it.)
    Tumble: You’ll want to be able to get to at least DC 25 after bonuses, and even more if there are many enemies in your fights. If the additional tumble rules from OA are allowed, definitely max it.
    Use Psionic Device: The (psionic version of the) best skill in the game. Get a stone of Psyreform as soon as you can afford one to redo your character, and get some stones of Incarnate while you’re at it. What’s really nice is that you typically have one less check to make (the CL check) than a regular rogue would.
    Use Rope: 5 points for the EA/Climb synergy is usually more than you’ll ever need.

    For non-class skills, your main priority should be getting Psicraft (discussed in the “Chassis” section.) Beyond that, your other priorities are UMD and Knowledge Skills.

    Skill Tricks

    Introduced in Complete Scoundrel, Skill Tricks give you a number of useful techniques to which you can put your copious skill ranks. You’re limited to taking ½ HD worth (rounded up), and they cost 2 skill points each to learn. They are normally usable 1/encounter, or every 5 minutes outside of combat; however, two Psyrogue-friendly PrCs from CSco (The Psionic and Uncanny Tricksters, respectively) allow you to surpass these limits.

    The full list is here:

    Spoiler
    Show
    Acrobatic Backstab (Tum 12) – Enables a single melee sneak attack (or even sudden strike) against an enemy whose space you tumble through. Underwhelming, though it could be nice with a touch spell.

    Assume Quirk (Dis 5) – Make your disguises tougher for familiar viewers to see through; it’s passive and doesn’t even require an action. If you wear disguises at all this is a must.

    Back on Your Feet (Tum 12) – Immediate stand up from prone without provoking AoO. Fantastic! always get this, it could save your bacon. Combine with the Withdraw action to get away from something nasty, or just 5-foot step and cast.

    Clarity of Vision (Spot 12) – See invisible for free as a swift. Then nail them with your Entangling Ectoplasm. Splat! Potentially useful, but by the time you get this you should already have a way of seeing invisible enemies.

    Clever Improviser (DD 5, OL 5) – Just use improvised tools (or Microkinesis) instead; the penalty isn’t small enough to justify the expenditure of skill points.

    Collector of Stories (Know any 5) – get a +5 competence bonus to trained knowledge checks regarding monsters. You have a good Int mod and plenty of points to scatter around to the various knowledges (you’ve gotten more of them as class skills, right?) so you may as well take it. Combos well with Knowledge Devotion.

    Conceal Spellcasting (Con 1, SC 1, SoH 5) - You need neither gibberish nor breakdancing to use your powers, so skip.

    Corner Perch (Climb 8) – Lets you plant yourself up a wall to shoot down. More useful for Ranged psyrogues, naturally, but still not very good - Climb is generally too subpar a skill to waste and, as the name implies, this only works in corners. If you want to play keep-away with a high ceiling just use Levitate/Earth Walk/Wall Walker etc instead.

    Dismount Attack (Ride 5) - Next!

    Easy Escape (EA 8) – Negate a grabby opponent’s size-mod. A great get-out-of-jail-free card for you.

    Escape Attack (EA 8) – Free SA on an opponent you escape from. If Easy Escape was get out of jail free, this is slamming your cell door on the guard’s toe. A single attack is weak though, even as a swift.

    Extreme Leap (Jump 5) – It’s not spectacular, but you’ll have the necessary ranks in Jump anyway for Tumble synergy, so I’d consider it. Don’t make it a priority though.

    False Theurgy (SC 8, Bluff/SoH 8) - like Conceal Spellcasting, this is useless for you.

    Group Fake Out (Bluff 8) – If you’re ever in a situation where you can fake-out a bunch of melee attackers... it means you’re in melee with a bunch of attackers, so smack yourself upisde the head and tumble out of there.

    Healing Hands (Heal 5): Not your job. For emergencies, just hang onto something you can UPD, like a Dorje of Touch of Health or Empathic Transfer or something.

    Hidden Blade (SoH 5, Quick Draw) – Quick Draw is a terrible feat, and you don’t get iteratives with this either.

    Leaping Climber (Climb 5, Jump 5) – You’re likely to have 5 ranks in these anyway for the synergy so you may as well.

    Listen To This (Listen 5) – The visual is quite cool, but just how much “sound” do you get to “record” with this? A statement? A conversation? A speech? Still, combining this with Autohypnosis makes you Rain Man though, so why not I say.

    Mosquito’s Bite (SoH 12) – Terrible. What is the point of this? They still know you attacked (if not that you hit) so you get basically no benefit beyond roleplay.

    Magical Appraisal (App 5 Know arc 5 SC 12) - even if your DM is nice enough to make a psionic version, you don’t have Psicraft. If you do get it though, this can be handy, because psionic Identify is awful.

    Never Outnumbered (Intim 8) - Leave this to Takahashi and his bruiser friends.

    Nimble Charge (Balance 5) – You’ll have 5 ranks in Balance anyway so why not? Works very nicely with pounce.

    Nimble Stand (Tumble 8) – Not as good as Back on Your Feet (this one is a move action), but comes online earlier and can even serve as a backup. I’d consider keeping both.

    Opening Tap (OL 12) – If you’re up against an easy lock you can just take 10, and if you’re up against a hard or magic lock you’ll probably need a dorje anyway. Plus, lock DCs start at 20, so your chances of doing this successfully are extremely slim. Skip.

    Point it Out (Spot 8)– Just tell them what you saw, or better yet have your psicrystal/mindlink do it. This one is kind of silly. The bonus might be helpful though.

    Quick Escape (EA 12) – Wriggling out of grapple/pin as a swift is good enough on its own, but slipping free of most sources of entangle as a move is great too. If you grab all the EA tricks you can even get away with not having Freedom of Movement.

    Quick Swimmer (Swim 5) – This will so rarely come up you may as well not bother. Stay with the party.

    Second Impression (Bluff 5 Dis 5) – Use this anytime you feel your disguise coming up short.

    Shrouded Dance (Hide 8 Perf dance 5) – You have powers that grant concealment for much longer, and they don’t require salsa lessons.

    Social Recovery (Bluff 8 Dip 5) – If you’re the face, this is near-mandatory; A bad roll can ruin your entire ploy! If you’re not, you can skip.

    Slipping Past (Tum 5 EA 5) – Combined with your ability to shrink, you can get through some really tight spaces in a hurry. Or better yet, you may not need to shrink at all (saving your powers for when they’re needed.) The requirements are cake too.

    Speedy Ascent (Climb 5) - Like the swim one, too situational.

    Spot the Weak Point (Spot 12) – Only one attack? Meh. Psychic Assassins may like this one for landing a brutal death attack though.

    Sudden Draw (SoH 8, Quick Draw) – Useful exactly once per combat, and requires a dead feat besides. Moving right along.

    Swift Concentration (Con 12) - Very useful - a lot of your powers require concentration, and this helps you maintain them while doing other things at the same time, even full-attacking. This also comes online for you long before other workarounds like Solicit Psicrystal and Schism. The cooldown on skill tricks makes this very limited though, except for the two Trickster PrCs.

    Timely Misdirection (Bluff 8) – Feint a target to keep them from AoO-ing you. Regardless of buffs, Feinting is still a mediocre tactic because you can’t full attack... However, techniques like Hustle will allow you to effectively feint as a swift. Combined with this trick, you can feint, sneak attack, and escape your foe (including move-action spells like dimension door or slide), all without provoking. If tactics like that appeal to you, give this trick a look.

    Tumbling Crawl (Tum 5) – Crawling is a terrible situation to be in, and you have the skill tricks to help you avoid it - so don’t even bother trying to optimize it when you have better options.

    Twisted Charge (Bal 5 Tum 5) – Saves you a feat on Psionic Charge - that’s aces in my book. Only melee need apply.

    Up the Hill (Bal 5 Jump 5) – You’ll have the ranks, but surely you’ve found better tricks by now.

    Walk the Walls (Cliimb 12 Tum 5) - If you wasted that many ranks in Climb you should get a refund asap. Amusingly, it carries the same “horizontal surface” clause as Up The Walls, letting you stand on the ceiling at the end of your move.

    Wall Jumper (Climb 5 Jump 5) – Cool visual and you’ll have the ranks. Synergizes well with Leaping Climber, Extreme Leap, and the various psionic ways to scale walls. It’s not terribly useful, but being Prince of Persia gets style points from me.

    Whip Climber (Use Rope 5, Whip Prof.) – Let the muggles be Indiana Jones; you have no time for whip-swinging.
    Last edited by Psyren; 2012-02-27 at 02:14 PM.
    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.

  8. - Top - End - #8
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    Default Re: [3.5] Thinking on your Feet: The Psychic Rogue Handbook

    Feats


    Aside from the powers themselves, the other advantage of the Psychic Rogue over its mundane cousin is its access to psionic feats - chief among them your tiny partner in crime, the psicrystal. However, these abilities are both blessing and curse - you have access to many more goodies than normal rogues do, but that just makes every feat choice that much more agonizing. From 1-20, you get 11 feats before race and flaws (assuming you don’t PrC out); not nearly enough for all the goodies out there for the taking, but it’ll have to do.

    Note that some builds of Psyrogue (see the Builds section) will consider certain feats more valuable than others. A ranged psyrogue will place more value in the archery feats than the TWF feats for instance. However, some feats are highly-recommended regardless of build.

    There are too many nice feats in the game to list them all here - I’ll just highlight a few standouts (and traps). I’m more than willing to update this section as I get good advice as well, but in general I recommend you go feat-diving using a combination of PId6, Saeomon, and Dictum Mortuum’s excellent handbooks.

    A final note - because you get Feat Leech in-class, a useful tactic is to focus on non-psionic feats for your main build, and leech whatever psionic/metapsionic feats you need from your psicrystal. You’ll need a decent Wis to get many of them, but you can use buffs (like Animal Affinity) and items to increase this value prior to leeching. This is particularly useful for the metapsionic feats, as many of them lack prerequisites in addition to being situational.

    Non-Psionic
    Spoiler
    Show
    Able Sniper (RotW): You take a massive penalty to Hide while sniping; anything that helps with that is useful. Thanks to Compression, Chameleon and Control Light, however, this is much less of a priority for you.

    Apprentice (DMG2): This line of feats is a great way to pick up the handful of skills you don’t have, most notably UMD and Spellcraft. But if you’re in a predominantly psionic campaign (or your DM rules that you can use UPD with magic items) then feel free to skip. You can get by without UMD in any event - powers can do the majority of what you’ll want, with the glaring hole in your arsenal being illusion.

    Craven (CoR): The only drawback here is that it’s setting-specific. Fear is not nearly as much trouble for you as it is for your mundane cousins, so if it’s allowed, get it asap.

    Crossbow Sniper (PHB2): The best (and some would say only) reason to use Crossbows; 60ft. SA is a great boon for you. Requires Weapon Focus though, and getting iteratives can be a pain.

    Darkstalker (LoM): Keeps pesky abilities like blindsight and tremorsense from making your hard-earned skill investments in stealth irrelevant. Regardless of your combat build, you’re the sneak, so this is vital.

    Deadly Precision (XPH): It sounds great on paper, but it doesn’t add nearly enough damage on average to be worth a feat.

    Dragonfire Strike (DrM): Convert your sneak attack to energy damage.

    Education (PGtF/ECS): You’re int-based, with a ton of skill points to throw around, so having all knowledges is a great investment (assuming nobody else in the party has them.) Combos well with both Knowledge Devotion and Call to Mind.

    Improved Feint (PHB): As much a trap for you as it is for regular rogues. You’ve got much better ways of enabling sneak attack; use them, and save the feat.

    Improved Initiative (PHB): This never hurts to have... provided you can squeeze it in somewhere. Remember, going first in a fight means more sneak attack while your sitting ducks worthy opponents are flat-footed.

    Knowledge Devotion (CChamp): Great damage boost if you have the right skills to power it. Combos well with Call to Mind, which lets you reroll your check.

    Maiming Strike (EoE) - Trade sneak attack for Cha damage. If you want to combine this with Mind Cripple, be advised that you have to do at least 1d6 to trigger the former, so don't remove it all - but this is a brutal and effective option to shut down an enemy.

    Shape Soulmeld (MoI): Perhaps the most versatile feat in the game, especially if you pick up the Psionic Open Chakra power (or feat) to really unlock the potential of the soulmeld you get. Psion’s Eyes is the main draw here, but goodies like Theft Gloves, Blink Shirt and Airstep Sandals are also very nice to have.

    TWF/ITWF/GTWF (PHB): For melee psyrogues that plan on using manufactured weapons, complete this chain as soon as possible. More attacks = more sneak attacks = tons more damage. If you don’t plan on dual-wielding then you have no use for it.

    Mage Slayer (CArc): Use your powers to shut down casters instead (Entangling Ectoplasm is one good way); -4 ML and a feat are too steep a cost. If the drawback doesn’t apply to manifesters then upgrade to black, but Ranged psyrogues shouldn’t bother either way.

    Mindsight (LoM): If you pick up telepathy somehow (say, from a Shedu Crown soulmeld) feel free to grab this too; very little defeats it. (But try not to give your DM ideas either.)

    Point Blank Shot/Precise Shot/Imp. PS (PHB): Zapping or pincushioning your allies (or astral constructs) isn’t good; this chain prevents awkward conversations around the campfire. Imp. Precise Shot is nice, but you have other ways (e.g. True Seeing, Steadfast Perception) of negating concealment to land your sneaks, and plenty of money to afford them by then too. PBS itself sucks, but it’s a prereq for just about every other archery related feat, and unlike regular rogues you have a much easier time shooting from close range anyway.

    Rapidstrike/Improved Rapidstrike (Drac): Turn your Elan or Synad into a beast - literally. But these goodies do strain what is already a feat-intensive build even further.

    Staggering Strike (CAdv): Has its uses, but you can usually accomplish the same thing with powers and save a feat.

    Surprising Riposte (DotU): This feat has cupcake prerequisites and is a must for melee Psyrogues - a successful feint renders your target flat-footed, and thus vulnerable, for the entire round. Feinting is a move action (with IF, a prerequisite for this), which would ordinarily preclude full-attacking - but guess which famous 3rd-level power is on your list that lets you convert your swift into a move?

    Underfoot Combat/Confound the Big Folk (RotW): A very nice choice for melee psyrogues, this allows you to sneak attack anyone bigger than you without any help. And since you can shrink yourself all combat long, everyone is bigger than you. Go for the balls hamstrings! You have other ways to enable sneak attack if you’re strained for feats though. Ranged psyrogues can safely skip.

    Weapon Finesse (PHB): I don’t have to tell you why you need this, do I? Even ranged psyrogues should consider getting this, so they aren’t totally hosed when it comes to melee.


    Psionic/Psionics-related:

    All of these are from the XPH unless otherwise indicated.

    Spoiler
    Show
    Expanded Knowledge: You’ll be taking this at least once, and possibly multiple times. There’s too much good stuff not on your list to neglect it - see the “Other Useful Powers” subsection for more.

    Extend Power: Make your powers last longer. One of the best ones to use this on is Compression, saving you PP in the long run over refreshing it (and helping you squeeze through tight spaces longer.)

    Hidden Talent: Yes -If this is allowed, make it your first feat. There are too many good level 1 powers that aren’t on your list, and this lets you get one of them right off the bat. The extra ammunition for your other toys is icing on the cake.

    Overchannel: Helps you augment powers above your current level, and scales with yours, in exchange for taking some damage. Combined with Talented to remove the damage component from half your repertoire, this can be a very useful choice. It can also get you into some handy augments faster (e.g. the second size reduction for Compression) and helps your powers last longer/overcome PR more easily to boot.

    Psicrystal Affinity: Every manifester should get one, and the skill bonuses means that goes double for you. It’s extremely versatile too, and with Feat Leech gets you even MORE delicious feats (if your DM is into that sort of thing.) Even if you don’t want Psionic Meditation/Psicrystal Containment, you should still get yourself a pet rock.

    Psicrystal Containment: If you’re going for a Psionic Shot/metapsionics build, be sure to get the extra focus. But you can live without it.

    Psionic Meditation: Helps you refocus more quickly. Take this if you plan on making regular use of other focus-related feats, but you can live without it more easily than other manifesters. For ray specialists it’s purple.

    Psionic Shot/GPS: Gives you a fat damage boost at early levels nearly for free. At later levels, the difficulty of applying this to your iteratives eclipses its usefulness, but if you’re a ray or crossbow specialist this remains useful.

    Psionic Weapon: As if the strenth requirement weren’t bad enough, applying it to iteratives or multiple natural attacks is nearly impossible. Skip.

    Quicken Power: Swift actions are good, because swift actions mean more full attacks, or more metapsionics on your rays. Consider trading this for EK:Schism later though, you’re unlikely to need both.

    Split Ray: Sneak Attack two targets at once for a low price. Worth a look.

    Talented: Applies to 60%+ of your repertoire - if you find yourself overchanneling a lot, give this a look. Be wary though as it requires focus expenditure.
    Last edited by Psyren; 2014-09-12 at 02:48 PM.
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    Default Re: [3.5] Thinking on your Feet: The Psychic Rogue Handbook

    Reserved 9 of 10
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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] Thinking on your Feet: The Psychic Rogue Handbook

    Reserved 10 of 10, feel free to post.

    (I may not need all of these, but I wanted to be safe as some of the sections got a bit long and I'm terrible at estimating post limits )
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    Default Re: [3.5] Thinking on your Feet: The Psychic Rogue Handbook

    Good to see another handbook going up! I always liked the Psychic Rogue.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Thinking on your Feet: The Psychic Rogue Handbook

    Quote Originally Posted by Tvtyrant View Post
    Good to see another handbook going up! I always liked the Psychic Rogue.
    Thank you, so do I

    I have a couple more things to add (Builds, and maybe Equipment) but I think what I've gotten up there is enough of a start. Formatting these takes forever...
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    Default Re: [3.5] Thinking on your Feet: The Psychic Rogue Handbook

    Well done sir.

    Minor possible additions for consideration:

    • Maiming Strike feat: You can trade Sneak Attack damage for Charisma damage. Works exceptionally well with the Mind Cripple ability. Exemplars of Evil pg 25.
    • Dragonfire Strike feat: Converts Sneak Attack damage to energy damage, and adds 1d6 damage. The RAW is unclear here, but a nice DM will let you use this to bypass Sneak Attack immunity. Dragon Magic pg. 18.
    • Prehensile Tail feat: You can use your tail as an arm. This qualifies you for Multiweapon Fighting, which is dramatically superior to the Two Weapon Fighting chain. You can get a tail through a graft, by being a kobold, or with a soulmeld. Serpent Kingdoms pg 147.
    • Combat Acrobat feat: If you make a DC 20 Balance check to negate being knocked Prone, and/or a DC 15 check to ignore up to 4 squares of difficult terrain. Useful if your DM likes to use Trip against you or is fond of terrain. PHBII pg 76.
    • Balance Skill in general: If you have 10 or more ranks, you can make a Balance check at a -10 penalty in place of a Str or Dex check to resist being Tripped. Comp Adventurer pg 97.
    • Manyfang Dagger: Deals quadruple damage on each hit, or quintuple on a critical hit. Bonus dice of damage are never multiplied, and Power Attack can’t be applied to light weapons. But static bonuses from Craven and the ability damage from Maiming Strike or Mind Cripple would be. 32,302 gp, Serpent Kingdoms pg 152.
    • Skill Tricks: There are a bunch that a Psychic Rogue might benefit from, including a number which render your opponent Flat Footed. Comp Scoundrel.
    • If you're dabbling in soulmelds, you should also take a look at Psychic Focus. When bound to your Throat chakra, whenever you manifest a power that deals damage to a single living creature, that creature must succeed on a Fortitude save (using the soulmeld's save DC, not the power's) or be dazed for 1 round. The save DC is unfortunately Wisdom (Incarnate) or Charisma (Soulborn) based (making it a much better option for Psychic Warriors). But if you get access to a power that adds damage to your weapon, then you can force an enemy to Save on every successful attack.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Thinking on your Feet: The Psychic Rogue Handbook

    Are going to be presenting builds as well ones for variants such as E6, gestalt, and more?

    Such as for E6 feats like Psionic Body and Psionic Talent become excellent since gain so many feats if get into the epic area. Such as at CR8 or such could have around 13 feats so if ten of those are psionic feats then get +20 hp from Psionic Body as one of those feats.
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    Default Re: [3.5] Thinking on your Feet: The Psychic Rogue Handbook

    What do you think about the Psychic Rogue taking rogue alternative class features, but at the levels THEY get the equivalent ability or amount of sneak attack than the actual Rogue? Should you maybe have a section that talks about that sort of thing?

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    Default Re: [3.5] Thinking on your Feet: The Psychic Rogue Handbook

    Going to overhaul the guide a bit - I think I have too many ratings categories for one thing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gavinfoxx View Post
    What do you think about the Psychic Rogue taking rogue alternative class features, but at the levels THEY get the equivalent ability or amount of sneak attack than the actual Rogue? Should you maybe have a section that talks about that sort of thing?
    I'd have no problem with it personally - the changeling rogue sub would be really nice for a social/espionage campaign for instance, and combined with their social powers you'd have one nightmare of a secret agent for the other side to deal with. But from a handbook perspective I'd like to stick as closely to RAW as possible; individual tables can discuss what tweaks they would like to make to a class beyond that. (My preferred suggestion is to give them the Lurk's augments and power progression - that would make them the best skillmonkey in the game.)

    Quote Originally Posted by TurtleKing View Post
    Are going to be presenting builds as well ones for variants such as E6, gestalt, and more?

    Such as for E6 feats like Psionic Body and Psionic Talent become excellent since gain so many feats if get into the epic area. Such as at CR8 or such could have around 13 feats so if ten of those are psionic feats then get +20 hp from Psionic Body as one of those feats.
    I don't yet know enough about E6 to give advice for it unfortunately; I've never played it.

    Gestalt advice is very specific to the classes being combined - so rather than put that in the handbook, it would be easier for someone to make a thread asking either for general psyrogue gestalt suggestions, or a critique/evaluation of a specific combination.
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    Default Re: [3.5] Thinking on your Feet: The Psychic Rogue Handbook

    You need to fix the color in one of the mentions of expanded knowledge

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    Default Re: [3.5] Thinking on your Feet: The Psychic Rogue Handbook

    There are two "psychic assassin" prestige classes. This one: Psychic Assassin and the Psionic Assassin variant in Secrets of Sarlona (page 113)

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    Default Re: [3.5] Thinking on your Feet: The Psychic Rogue Handbook

    I've always had a soft spot for roguish characters, even if every one I've ever played has died a horrible death. Psychic Rogue looks fantastic though, and I think its added power and versatility would be just the thing to make the character not die. Ray specialist sneak attacking sounds fun.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Thinking on your Feet: The Psychic Rogue Handbook

    Worth noting that PsyRogue is Tash-able. Granted, that requires either Wisdom or the Aesetic Psion feat, and that Compression makes UAS damage go down, but Flurry of Blows is useful with SA enabled for more attacks per round. Perfect for Mindcrippling the pants off of your foe in short order, especially in combo with TWF.

    Also, no love for the Telekinetic Boomerang power from...Races of the Wild? Gives Bloodstorm Blade-like returning property to any thrown weapon which would probably warp spacetime with how quick it changes mass as you throw it and catch it multiple times per round if you use it while Compressed.
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    Default Re: [3.5] Thinking on your Feet: The Psychic Rogue Handbook

    I saw you only rated Crossbow Sniper green. Take a look at the Hand Crossbow Focus feat in Drow of the Underdark. It's Weapon Focus and Rapid Reload in one feat for hand crossbows. I think if you go that route Crossbow Sniper might be bumped up to blue.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Thinking on your Feet: The Psychic Rogue Handbook

    Cognition their uses the same weird wording as ardent meaning it allows you select powers based on your ML rather than your class level. This makes the skipped ML levels only lose in slow and PP rather than potency. I think it deserves a higher rank.
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    Default Re: [3.5] Thinking on your Feet: The Psychic Rogue Handbook

    Quote Originally Posted by Psyren View Post
    I firmly believe Psychic Rogues’ lack of Psicraft was just an oversight - every other class capable of manifesting powers gets it, including Lurk, Divine Mind, and even War Mind!
    This is, of course, a filthy, dirty lie. The Psychic Warrior class does not have Psicraft as a class skill. And Psychic Rogue is slightly less of a manifesting class than Psychic Warrior, with less PP/day and powers known after 3rd level. It's also quite blatantly the Rogue to the Psychic Warrior's Fighter.

    Leaving Psicraft off of the Psychic Rogue's skill list is in keeping with the directly analogous class that came before it. Furthermore, as you noted, being worse than Lurk at the psionic end of things is part of the Psychic Rogue's deal.

    Now, one could certainly argue that both Psychic Rogues and Psychic Warriors should have Psicraft as a class skill. But then, one could certainly argue that there should be no such thing as class skills, and indeed that the d20 system is bad in numerous ways and should be abandoned for some alternative. So this seems like perhaps a bit of a slippery slope.
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    Default Re: [3.5] Thinking on your Feet: The Psychic Rogue Handbook

    Well now! It looks like you're right, and Psywars don't have Psicraft either and didn't in 3.0 either. Though a little more diplomacy at pointing out my foible would have been appreciated.

    However, this statement...

    Quote Originally Posted by Devils_Advocate View Post
    Now, one could certainly argue that both Psychic Rogues and Psychic Warriors should have Psicraft as a class skill. But then, one could certainly argue that there should be no such thing as class skills, and indeed that the d20 system is bad in numerous ways and should be abandoned for some alternative. So this seems like perhaps a bit of a slippery slope.
    ... is one I don't think applies here. Psicraft is for more than just identifying powers after all - you need it to use power stones at all, and there are several powers which are not only Psychic Warrior-only, there are even a handful that are Psychic Rogue-only. There's even a table for psywar power stones in the XPH. It would be silly of WotC to have intentionally put psionic items in the game, designed for a particular class, that are difficult for that class to use.

    In addition, DSP apparently agrees with me - The Pathfinder Psychic Warrior has Psicraft (well, Spellcraft due to the consolidation) as a class skill, as does their version of the Psyrogue, the Cryptic. So I'm going to let my recommendations of asking the DM to remedy the situation or getting the class skill from a dip stand.
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    Default Re: [3.5] Thinking on your Feet: The Psychic Rogue Handbook

    Oh, huh, there's no psionic equivalent to read magic, is there? That is an issue, then. Of course, one could argue that detect psionics should be modified to allow addressing power stones instead. But then, lacking Psicraft still keeps a manifester from using that power to determine the discipline involved in an aura. Classes with detect magic on their spell lists have Spellcraft as a class skill as a rule. And since Psychic Warriors and Psychic Rogues also generally have magic (psionics) on the level of Bards rather than Rangers and Paladins... yeah. Probably best to modify their skill lists... and add that capability to detect psionics (for which one must forgo some other 1st level power rather than just some crappy 0th level spell, after all).

    Technically a character can also address power stones with the Use Psionic Device skill, but that's not a class skill for Psychic Warriors either, so the same point applies. Still, perhaps the fact that it is a class skill for Psychic Rogues means that lacking Psicraft maybe isn't as big of a concern for them?

    Anyway, I just wasn't convinced by your previous argument (as it was factually incorrect), nor did "It would make a good house rule" seem like sufficient reason to include it in a handbook, hence my commentary on that. But based on your more recent argument I have changed my mind and concede the point.

    Quote Originally Posted by Psyren View Post
    a little more diplomacy at pointing out my foible would have been appreciated.
    In retrospect, I really should have followed that first sentence with a "". Without it, it potentially reads like a serious accusation (rather than, as intended, a silly accusation).
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    Default Re: [3.5] Thinking on your Feet: The Psychic Rogue Handbook

    Quote Originally Posted by Devils_Advocate View Post
    In retrospect, I really should have followed that first sentence with a "". Without it, it potentially reads like a serious accusation (rather than, as intended, a silly accusation).
    No harm done

    Quote Originally Posted by Devils_Advocate View Post
    Technically a character can also address power stones with the Use Psionic Device skill, but that's not a class skill for Psychic Warriors either, so the same point applies. Still, perhaps the fact that it is a class skill for Psychic Rogues means that lacking Psicraft maybe isn't as big of a concern for them?
    UPD is unfortunately a very poor substitute, even for a class like PR which gets it as a class skill. To use a power stone you must first address it (even if you already know what powers are in it, and even if you're planning to activate it via UPD instead of normally) - and the DC to address a stone via UPD is 10 higher than to do it via Psicraft. Not only that, you can't take 10 if you do it via UPD either, even outside of combat. Psicraft is also based on Int (your strong stat) whereas UPD is based on Cha (a lower-priority stat) - and Psicraft is trained-only, meaning you can't even attempt the check without having a rank in, so not having it as a class skill burns up valuable skill points to let you even try. Finally, Psychic Rogues have the option of choosing Psicraft for Skill Mastery, letting them take 10 on this check even under stress. This allows you to recover a stone in combat, either from an enemy or fallen ally, that isn't keyed to you and still have a decent chance at activating it. Say the party psion has a stone of Teleport, but he gets hit with something nasty (like Feeblemind) and can't use it - even if you stealth up to him and grab it, you now need 2 (or possibly even 3!) successful UPD checks in a row to use it, and you can't take 10 on any of them. Having Psicraft as a class skill improves your chances in such a scenario greatly.

    UPD also doesn't give you the other main uses of Psicraft - identifying existing powers, or manifesting from other psionicist's heads. These are less likely to matter of course (there's likely to be a primary manifester in the party that can do the former, and the latter rarely comes up) but they are worth keeping in mind. UPD is of course very useful on its own and it's worthwhile to max it, but relying on it as a replacement for Psicraft can result in sticky situations.

    But as I said in the guide - even if you can't get it as a houserule, dipping for it is a-okay by RAW and Shadowmind is one of the best routes.
    Last edited by Psyren; 2013-05-05 at 02:47 AM.
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    Default Re: [3.5] Thinking on your Feet: The Psychic Rogue Handbook

    A caveat on Control Light: Like Darkness spells, it'll probably alert your opponents that something is going on, at which point they might do something like Glitterdust your general vicinity. Much better if they have no clue at all that someone's there.

    And for prestige classes, you might want to mention [Ilithid] Slayer. You lose skill points and sneak attack, admittedly, but you also gain the Cerebral Blind ability, which makes you far more difficult to detect magically or psionically. It can be worth it, for a sneak-focused character.

    For best results, use Uncanny Trickster to replace two of the Slayer levels, so your 8 skill points are replacing 4 instead of replacing 6.
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    Default Re: [3.5] Thinking on your Feet: The Psychic Rogue Handbook

    the shadow mind has Manifester level 3rd as a requirement I don't think you can enter it until level 9, unless I'm wrong about what manifester level means

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    Default Re: [3.5] Thinking on your Feet: The Psychic Rogue Handbook

    Quote Originally Posted by 12owlbears View Post
    the shadow mind has Manifester level 3rd as a requirement I don't think you can enter it until level 9, unless I'm wrong about what manifester level means
    Manifester level = your level in a psionic class, in this case the psychic rogue. You've just mixed it up with the maximum level of powers known.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Thinking on your Feet: The Psychic Rogue Handbook

    Quote Originally Posted by Chronos View Post
    A caveat on Control Light: Like Darkness spells, it'll probably alert your opponents that something is going on, at which point they might do something like Glitterdust your general vicinity. Much better if they have no clue at all that someone's there.
    Control Light covers an extremely large area, much larger than a glitterdust does. Even if they suspect something and cast it, they still have to aim the glitterdust properly to hit you.

    A great way to mess them up is to create a diversion. While muffling the party's sounds to a minimum, toss a rock or something similarly noisy on the other side of the room. They will undoubtedly cast their glitterdust/faerie fire over there and you can sneak the party past them. Bonus points if you land it near them and they catch themselves in the area of their spell, making them visible to you and the rest of the party.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chronos View Post
    And for prestige classes, you might want to mention [Ilithid] Slayer. You lose skill points and sneak attack, admittedly, but you also gain the Cerebral Blind ability, which makes you far more difficult to detect magically or psionically. It can be worth it, for a sneak-focused character.

    For best results, use Uncanny Trickster to replace two of the Slayer levels, so your 8 skill points are replacing 4 instead of replacing 6.
    Cerebral Blind is indeed nice. Personally I would use it on a Stealthy Psion - the skill points are a step up for them and they weren't getting much sneak attack anyway.
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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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