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    Default The Divine Mind Handbook

    THE DIVINE MIND'S HANDBOOK
    Or: Not Minding the Nonsense


    OPENING GOALS AND INDEX

    This guide stemmed out of a conversation I had with a friend about the Divine Mind, which turned into bold claims, then to build outlines, then to advice sheet and finally into the outline of a handbook.

    I was surprised by the number of decisions involved in building a Divine Mind (Deities, Mantles, Powers within those Mantles). I think those decisions actually make the Divine Mind a better candidate for a handbook than more rigid classes, despite its unpopularity (and the weirdness that justifies it).

    OVERVIEW
    (Goals, Color Code, Sources/Abbreviations/Update History)
    THE CLASS
    (Role, Abilities, Class Features, Alternate Class Features, Multi/Prestige Classing)
    RACES
    (Races, Templates)
    MANTLES AND DEITIES
    FEATS AND SKILLS
    ITEMS
    SAMPLE BUILDS

    OVERVIEW
    GOALS
    This guide is written for someone with some familiarity with psionics and practical optimization. I'm going to try to stay pretty grounded, but I may have slipped in some community jargon or a term or two that might not be familiar to new players. If you're a new player and that's going to spook you off, good. The Divine Mind is a weird class, it's not a particularly strong class, and it's a good way for a new player to play a frustrating campaign.

    That said, built properly, a Divine Mind has the tools to play in the same game as Swordsages and Binders, especially past the early-game hump. This guide will discuss how.

    COLOR CODE
    I'm going to shamelessly steal the old traditional color code, because it's easy and close to a standard:

    Red – These are bad options, mentioned either for completeness or because they are misleading.
    Black – These options are average or unremarkable. They aren't going to hurt to take, but they aren't going to carry a build on their own.
    Blue – These are good options. They're almost always safe choices, and they should contribute something really powerful or unique to a build.
    Bluer – These are the amazing options that should probably make you drool a little, if you aren't paying attention. If you can get your hands on these, do so immediately.

    SOURCES AND ABBREVIATIONS
    I'm fairly friendly to third-party material, but I know many other forumgoers aren't. I will make comments relating to the psionics support provided in Bruce Cordell's Hyperconscious, the Dreamscarred Press SRD and Dragon Magazine, but to avoid confusion, I will not address them outside the blurbs for their own content.

    I will try to label the sources of all relevant materials, and link where applicable. My abbreviation key is as follows:
    Spoiler
    Show
    PHB2 – Player's Handbook 2
    DMG2 – Dungeon Master's Guide 2
    MIC – Magic Item Compendium
    SpC – Spell Compendium
    RC – Rules Compendium
    EPH – Expanded Psionics Handbook
    MoI – Magic of Incarnum
    ToM – Tome of Magic
    ToB – Tome of Battle
    WoL – Weapons of Legacy
    CAdv – Complete Adventurer
    CArc – Complete Arcane
    CCha – Complete Champion
    CMag – Complete Mage
    CPsi – Complete Psionic
    CSco – Complete Scoundrel
    CWar – Complete Warrior
    RotW – Races of the Wild
    RoS – Races of Stone
    RoD – Races of Destiny
    RotD – Races of the Dragon
    Frost – Frostburn
    Sand – Sandstorm
    Storm - Stormwrack
    CS - Cityscape
    DS – Dungeonscape
    LM – Libris Mortis
    LoM – Lords of Madness
    Drac – Draconomicon
    SS – Savage Species
    Minis – Miniatures Handbook
    UA – Unearthed Arcana
    PlH - Planar Handbook
    MoP - Manual of the Planes
    BoED – Book of Exalted Deeds
    BoVD – Book of Vile Darkness
    HoB – Heroes of Battle
    HoH – Heroes of Horror
    ECS – Eberron Campaign Setting
    RoE – Races of Eberron
    MoE – Magic of Eberron
    FoE – Faiths of Eberron
    OA – Oriental Adventures
    FRCS – Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting
    PGtF – Player's Guide to Faerun
    ShS - Shining South
    UE - Unapproachable East
    SM - Silver Marches
    F&P - Faiths and Pantheons
    HC – Hyperconscious
    ME – Mind's Eye article series
    DSP – Dreamscarred Press SRD
    DR – Dragon Magazine


    UPDATE HISTORY
    Spoiler
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    6/18/2012 - Overview, Class Rundown, Race, Mantles, Feats and Items added. Preliminary cleanup, linkage.
    6/19/2012 - Three sample builds added
    6/20/2012 - Formatting on the sample builds made less stupid.
    6/23/2012 - Went back through, added additional item, feat entries.
    6/23/2012 - Color code tweaked on account of me wanting to pull out my eyes
    Last edited by eggs; 2012-08-31 at 05:39 PM.

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    Default Re: Straining Credulity: A Divine Mind Handbook

    THE CLASS
    I'll be blunt about the Divine Mind. It's not a good class. It has a good claim for being the weakest manifesting class that WotC published, its flavor doesn't make a whole lot of sense, it doesn't have the basic features that you'd normally expect of a melee class and it doesn't have the basic features you'd expect of a manifester. And it has a silly picture. But with some system familiarity and a bit of savvy, it can be salvaged.

    The Divine Mind's biggest obstacles come at low levels - until ECL 8, there aren't enough daily uses of Ectopic Ally (discussed later) to use in each of a day's fights, and the class's Aura selection is strategically binding. At ECL 8 and beyond, the class matures relatively well (as well or better than most non-full caster/manifesters).

    ROLE
    The Divine Mind does three things at any time, with varying degrees of support:
    • Buffer: The Divine Mind's Psychic Aura provides passive buffing to any allies within a limited radius. Its buffs aren't bad, but alone, they aren't going to crank the Divine Mind's numbers to the same degree as a more focused melee class.
    • Fighter: The Divine Mind has a framework that's designed to withstand melee – big hit dice, good saves, class abilities that boost those further. But it lacks some straightforward offense – its base attack is compromised, and the Psychic Aura bonuses might somewhat compensate, but alone, they don't keep pace with martial classes that provide both full BA and class abilities to excel.
    • Manifester: The Divine Mind learns powers from the Ardent's Mantles. But the Divine Mind has some additional limitations – its Mantle selection comes predetermined based on its religious affiliations, it only learns powers of up to 6th level (and only one of those), it only learns 9 powers total and its manifester level has a -4 penalty.

    Taken together, the Divine Mind appears to have been designed as a Jack of All Trades – a function which has been repeatedly demonstrated to be difficult to maintain.

    The best form of integration available to the Divine Mind involves focusing on its Manifesting aspects – that is the element which provides both the means to crank numeric values and a level of versatility that is not normally available to classes like the Fighter or Barbarian, which are primarily driven by numeric boosts.

    ABILITIES
    Strength – Either this or Dexterity is going to be your primary weapon attribute. Keep one moderately high; don't worry too much about the other.
    Dexterity – Either this or Strength is going to be your primary weapon attribute. If you need to prioritize Strength, just grab a set of full plate and don't sweat it too hard.
    Constitution – HP, Fortitude and Concentration. Don't let it get low.
    Intelligence – With a bad skill list and no direct applications, if you need a mental dump stat, Int is there.
    Wisdom – This is your key ability score. Crank it.
    Charisma – Adds to saves and Mind Control. Nice if you can crank it up, but it's not doing your heavy lifting. Not blue because it doesn't need much cranking - if it's going to be too low to use for Divine Grace, go ahead and tank it. The Stygian Path ACF + some Nightsticks will open other useful options with Domain and Divine feats.

    CLASS FEATURES
    Mantles – The major differentiating abilities between Divine Minds. New mantles are gained at levels 1, 6 and 12, leaving one of the associated deity's mantles untouched.
    Wild Talent – The class has a Power Point reserve. I have no idea why it got this feat. But the trick with the Divine Mind is not to stop too often to ask "Why?" That way lies madness.
    Psychic Aura – This provides scaling numeric bonuses to various features. The bonuses actually aren't bad, but the radius on the aura starts terrible. It takes 7-9 levels just to kick it up to a useful spread. The default Auras are:
    • Attack – Morale bonus to Attack and Damage rolls: +1 bonus, +1 per 5 levels. This is a nice bonus, but it doesn't stack well with Cleric or Bard buffs or Inspire Courage. Typically, it's probably going to be what you want to have going once combat's started.
    • Defense – Morale bonus to Armor class: +1 bonus, +1 per 5 levels. Morale bonuses to defense are rare, which makes this a nifty aura to have. But this is probably going to be the aura that gets the least use.
    • Perception – Morale bonus to Initiative, Spot and Listen: +2 bonus, +1 per 5 levels. Morale bonuses to Initiative are rare, and are worth stacking. At high levels, when you have a practical method of switching auras in combat, or alongside another Morale-based offensive buffing character, this is a good aura to default to before fights start.

    Divine Grace – Nobody ever complained about Divine Grace. It's a nice benefit, but unlikely to crank as high as it would on a Shaman or Sorcadin build.
    ALTERNATE CLASS FEATURES
    Ectopic Ally (ME) – I need to make this even bluer. You want this, It's not even a question, it's just downright good. To appreciate this ACF, you may need to review the Psi-Like Ability rules. It's Astral Construct as a standard action, fully augmented to the Divine Mind's class level. That's very powerful on its own, but the kicker is that it has a mechanism to augment even further without level-based constraints. For 5ft of aura radius, this is an incredible exchange. Literally incredible - I'd bet that the author didn't know what he was writing. But in its favor, this ACF is basically the one good reason to play a Divine Mind, so it's going to get some focus.
    Hidden Talent (ME) – Even though Hidden Talent is a strict improvement over Wild Talent, I don't rate this blue because it is limited to the Divine Mind's first Mantle. In many cases, this will leave the Divine Mind needing Tap Mantle to learn a worthwhile new power at level 5. In those situations, it can be prudent to avoid this ACF and take the Hidden Talent feat instead (which is more flexible, and adds 2 PP to the Divine Mind's pool).
    Stygian Path (ME) – This is a pretty even trade. Divine Grace is a powerful ability, but so is fueling Divine and domain feats
    Skilled City Dweller (CS web)– Allows Ride to be traded for Tumble. Without a robust built-in mount, this trade is usually a good one, but saddling up an Ectopic Ally

    MULTI/PRESTIGE CLASSING
    Typically, Multiclassing is to be avoided – it fails to advance the Divine Mind's major class features* and almost inevitably costs manifester levels, which drops DM beyond the scope of a simple Practiced Manifester patchup and pushes its first 6th level power into Epic levels.
    But there are a couple options which aren't strictly awful:

    Monk – Yeah. Two classes often regarded as the lowest of the low. Tashalatora provides strong enough offensive options to take the load off Divine Mind's PP. This can improve DM's endurance, even if it comes at a meaningful cost. It's true that Tashalatora is RAW-legal without any Monk levels, but there are two reasons a quick Monk dip can be worth it:
    1. It's not uncommon for a DM to be averse to ghost levels.
    2. There's that feat starvation thing I've been grinding on – Tash at level 6 without Monk levels means no Practiced Manifester, no Psionic Meditation, no Hidden Talent, no Serenity, etc. Monk 1 is worth two bonus feats on top of its decent frame, AC boost and various abilities.

    Cleric - Cleric is a fantastic dip - opening feats, magic item access, miscellaneous domain abilities and turning (or a second turning pool through shenanigans like Expedition to Castle Ravenloft's Lightbringer ACF or Azurin Cleric substitution levels). The one downside is that it doesn't advance anything that you're probably wanting to advance, if you're putting levels in Divine Mind.
    Bard - Dragonfire Inspiration builds require very few Bard levels to be useful, but often have action economy/endurance troubles meshing Morale boosts with DFI. Even just one level of Bard + a couple feats will dramatically increase the Divine Mind's buffing.
    Thoughtsinger (DSP) - Like Bard, but psionic. Because Thoughtsong isn't titled "Bardic Music" (even though its effects are the same), most Bardic Music benefits don't work with it by strict RAW; in that environment, it's terrible. If it's treated as Bardic Music, it's pretty balanced with the Bard (more PP, UPD and a low-ML power known, but no Inspirational Boost or UMD).
    Ghostbreaker (HC) – Essentially Psionics' Abjurant Champion in an otherwise very well balanced book: 5-levels full BA, full ML. The only level a DM is going to be interested in is the first, which grants Turning, which can then be flipped to fuel Divine and Domain feats. Especially useful to cap off builds once 9th level Ectopic Allies are already an option.
    Psionic Abjurant Champion (CMag)- This is psionics' Abjurant Champion (outlined in the AbjChamp adaptation section). It's not totally clear how the mechanics are supposed to work, but the general takeaway is 5/5 BA, 5/5 ML, d10 HD at the cost of a crappy feat. Not blue because its active abilities involve spending PP, its passive abilities probably don't affect many of the Divine Mind's powers, its framework isn't a huge upgrade and it doesn't improve Ectopic Ally. The biggest draws here are the slight BA boost (still possibly useful as a ECL17+ cap) and Martial Arcanist Psionicist, which could facilitate more dips out of Divine Mind (though it take some serious mental gymnastics to justify using Divine Mind over Ardent for that kind of build).
    Storm Disciple (CPsi) – This looks like a prestige class designed for the Divine Mind. That's cool, except it's terrible.

    *"Major class features" is an alternate spelling for "Ectopic Ally"
    Last edited by eggs; 2012-09-20 at 01:44 PM.

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    Default Re: Straining Credulity: A Divine Mind Handbook

    RACES
    There are hundreds of races to choose from. I'm only going to list the PHB races and more notable alternative options.

    Human – An extra feat slot and extra skills. Those are both things a Divine Mind absolutely craves.
    Azurin (MoI) – Human with skills traded out for Essentia. Niche advantage with Incarnum tricks.
    Strongheart Halfling (PGtF) – Halfling with a bonus feat. Not well suited to melee, but small size is excellent for anyone who's not expecting to be snatched up or forced to make AoOs.
    Anthropomorphic Bat (SS) – Huge Wis boost, flight, and a side of well-deserved shame. It's good, it's first party and it can help the Divine Mind patch its issues, but it's an option that really earns some scorn.
    Kureshim (HC) - Bonus psionic feat, minor skill, save and PP bonuses. Competitive with Humans, depending on the necessity of bonus skills.
    Aasimar – Outsider (hello, metamorphosis abuse) with elemental resistances and bonuses to two of the Divine Mind's useful abilities. Comes in three common varieties:
    Aasimar (MM): Cha +2, Wis +2, Outsider, LA +1; black without Unearthed Arcana's LA buyoff.
    Aasimar (web): Cha +2, Outsider, LA +0.
    Lesser Aasimar (PGtF): Cha +2, Wis +2, Humanoid, LA +0
    Buomman (PlH) - Wisdom bonus with a charisma penalty, humanoid type. Combines nicely with Dragonborn.
    Dragonborn of Bahamut (RotD) – Template-like race. Add +2 Con, -2 Dex, strip the base race's class features and add flight. Add to a race with a Wisdom bonus (Vanara
    Elan (EPH) – As usual, one of the stronger races. Before someone cries "MAD," the only place an Elan Divine Mind is going to notice its Charisma hit is in its slightly smaller save bonus.
    Kalashtar (RoE) – A good bunch of numeric bonuses and lots of bonus PP (though not as much as ). Access to some unique class feats (though none are particularly useful to the Divine Mind) and MoE's Quorri Embedded Shards (which are particularly useful for a Divine Mind).
    Synad (CPsi) – Extra swift action 1/day, a couple extra PP, flexible numeric bonuses.
    Vanara (OA) – Wisdom bonus at 0 LA is nice, and neither climb speed nor stealth skill bonuses hurt. The Intelligence boost isn't particularly remarkable, but it could help fuel Knowledge Devotion. It may be worth noting that Dragon Magazine's Oriental Adventures update drops the Wisdom bonus, which would cut the appeal of the race.
    Dwarf - The Charisma hit isn't fun, but Constitution is good, Stability is good, Magic/Poison save bonuses are good and Divine Minds are typically heavily armored anyway.
    Gnome - Small Size is a nice advantage and Con bonuses are always worthwhile. Works well as long as you stay out of melee range (focusing on archery or manifesting)
    Half-Giant (EPH) - Red without LA buyoff. But otherwise, a strong melee race for Divine Minds who want to conserve their precious PP by whacking things, which also grants a couple PP.
    Halfling - The small size and and save bonus help. Can make a workable ranged combat build.
    Elf - The Constitution hit hurts more than Dexterity helps. None of the other abilities are relevant.
    Half-Elf - Nothing about this race matters, and taking it means not taking something with abilities that do help.
    Half-Orc - Marginal bonuses that don't really matter, a penalty to Charisma and an opportunity cost of better races. It's not crippling, but it is unappealing.

    TEMPLATES

    Dragon Magazine has some seriously broken templates. I feel bad listing them, so I'm just going to pretend I didn't say anything about third-party content for this bit.
    Divine Minion (web) - LA +1 to +2. Outsider type, Fear Immunity and limited Wild Shape. With LA buyoff, it's not a bad deal.
    Draconic (RotD) – LA +1. Red without LA buyoff. Charisma, Constitution and Strength boost, plus claws, other minor bonuses.
    Feral (SS) - LA +1. Gives any melee build everything it could want, comes with a Wisdom boost and a reputation for brokenness. Its sizable intelligence penalty is going to hurt, but you can manage, if you want to. I wouldn't recommend touching it outside of a high-op game.
    Lolth-Touched (MM4) – LA +1. Red without LA buyoff. +6 Strength and Constitution, plus fear immunity and stealth bonuses. This is downright silly for a melee build, and Divine Minds tend to take to melee.
    Voidmind (MM3) – LA +1. Red without LA buyoff. Loses a point of charisma, doesn't gain wisdom, but gains in just about everything else. Lots of useful defensive abilities, a tentacle attack and a powerful slime vomit power.
    Phrenic (EPH) – LA +2. Red without LA buyoff. PR, Wisdom and Charisma bonuses, a bunch of very nicely scaling PLAs and 1 PP.
    Saint (BoED) - LA +2. Bonuses to all the stats you care about, some astounding defenses, and miscellaneous bonuses like extra damage and Outsider type. Still black without LA buyoff.
    OTHER
    Major Bloodlines (UA) – Using the common interpretation outlined by PlzBreakMyCampaign here, a Major Bloodline will both accelerate the Divine Mind's Manifester level acquisition and Ectopic Ally advancement. These are both absolutely invaluable, address many of the Divine Mind's most pressing issues and are well worth a Divine Mind spending around half of its career one HD behind the norm. With custom bloodlines, the extra feats also become quite remarkable. Only not light blue because reading or explaining he rules tends to feel like that scene in Scanners.
    Last edited by eggs; 2012-06-24 at 01:04 AM.

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    Default Re: Straining Credulity: A Divine Mind Handbook

    MANTLES
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    Chaos
    Granted Ability: Expend psionic focus to deal an additional 1d6 damage with an attack against a nonchaotic creature.
    Powers: Destiny Dissonance (1), Matter Agitation (1), Distracting Shout (2), Personality Parasite (4), Catapsi (5), Inconstant Location (6)
    Psychic Aura: +2 Resistance on saves against non-chaotic creatures. Increases by 1 per 6 levels.
    Summary: The Divine Mind's limited powers known and typically low Power DCs make the mid-level manifester-targeting powers very poor options. But the base abilities are generally useful, its low-level powers have passable utility and Inconstant Location is very valuable to a character whose location matters (and between the DM's typically melee role and limited-range buffing, its location matters)
    Communication
    Granted Ability: +2 Diplomacy while focused, reduced penalty on rushed Diplomacy.
    Powers: Attraction (1), Psionic Charm (1), Missive (1), Telempathetic Projection (1), Mass Missive (2), Psionic Suggestion (2), Psionic Tongues (2), Correspond (4), Metaconcert (5)
    Psychic Aura: Mind-Link throughout aura.
    Summary: This is basically the Enchantment mantle: powerful offensive and utility effects, but limited by increasingly common immunities. Very powerful at low levels, less so at higher levels, when mind immunity becomes the game's default. Limited Aura range cuts down Mind-Link's utility.
    Conflict
    Granted Ability: Weapon Focus with a weapon of choice.
    Powers: Metaphysical Weapon (1), Offensive Prescience (1), Psionic Lion's Charge (2), Dimension Slide (3), Immovability (4), Psychic Crush (5), Graft Weapon (5)
    Psychic Aura: +2 on Critical Confirmation rolls.+5 At level 10.
    Summary: Not a whole lot of stand-out abilities, but overall, a solid choice for a gish build.
    Consumption
    Granted Ability: Expend focus as an immediate action for 5 temp HP when someone within 10 feet is wounded.
    Powers: Hungry Touch (1), Feat Leech (2), Power Leech (4)
    Psychic Aura: Expend Psionic Focus to leech 1 power point from manifesting character in aura, possibly cancel manifesting. Leech 2 PP at level 7, 3 PP at level 10, 4 PP at level 20.
    Summary: The granted ability and Hungry Touch power are powerful in soaking damage at low levels, but that fades. The other abilities make this out to be an anti-psionics build, but the Divine Mind will generally lack the PP or DCs to effectively fill that role. Despite its abilities being pretty average and generally interesting, I rank this red due to its limited options and the high cost of maintaining its power DCs.
    Corruption and Madness
    Granted Ability: While Psionically Focused, you cannot be confused.
    Powers: Psionic Daze (1), Primal Fear (1), Brain Lock (2), Mental Turmoil (3), Mindwipe (4)
    Psychic Aura: Enemies in Aura must make low-DC Concentration check to manifest, cast or use PLAs/SLAs.
    Summary: Every power and ability allows an easy saving throw. Some of the mid-level effects are half-way decent, but nothing stands out as appealing. Even the granted ability loses its shine on a Wis-based Good Will class with Divine Grace.
    Creation
    Granted Ability: Any Ectopic Form Feat
    Powers: Astral Construct (1), Psionic Minor Creation (1), Psionic Fabricate (4), Psionic Major Creation (5), Psionic Greater Fabricate (6)
    Psychic Aura: Constructs in Aura heal HP slowly.
    Summary: Very powerful low-level powers with quite a bit of utility; start reliably creating Astral Constructs at lower levels, and milk Boost Construct or other AC-improvements even harder. At higher levels, the mantle gets redundant and utility-specific.
    Death
    Granted Ability: Expend Psionic Focus to kill a dying creature, as Death Knell.
    Powers: Stygian Discernment (1), Stygian Ray (2), Psionic Speak with Dead (3), Death Urge (4), Stygian Dominion (5)
    Psychic Aura: Deathwatch for all allies on creatures in Aura.
    Summary: The Granted Ability doesn't require an action that I can tell, which would make it useful at low levels. The utility powers are relatively niche, and Death Urge can get expensive, but they provide a strong array of effects targeting and providing a variety of useful defenses.
    Deception
    Granted Ability: Expend focus as an immediate action for a 50% miss chance.
    Powers: Psionic Charm (1), Cloud Mind (2), Concealing Amorpha (2), False Sensory Input (3), Escape Detection (3), Mass Cloud Mind (6)
    Psychic Aura: +2 to allies' Feint, you may expend psionic focus to feint as move action.
    Summary: All the abilities and powers granted by this mantle are useful, but they tend not to scale well (static DCs or escape detection's ML cap). With Divine Mind's slow start, this makes the mantle hugely dependent on campaign design: the more lower-leveled opponents are in a campaign, the more powerful this mantle is.
    Destruction
    Granted Ability: Improved Sunder while focused; expend focus to reduce hardness of an object by 4.
    Powers: Dissipating Touch (1), Dissolving Touch (2), Dissolving Weapon (2), Dispel Psionics (3), Psionic Disintegrate (6)
    Psychic Aura: All allies ignore half of items' hardness when sundering.
    Summary: I love sundering, which gives me a soft spot for this mantle. But to be fair about it, its powers are useful, but nothing that really stands out – the low level powers are a bit of blasting that happen to work nicely with melee builds; the mid- and high-level powers are more useful, but they're staples that another caster is going to be able to provide. This mantle is solid for a DM playing up its melee role, but it's not outstanding.
    Elements
    Granted ability: Minor abilities relating to elements when psionically focused (fall damage reduction, balance/bull rush resist bonus, inconsequential fire damage bonus, swim speed)
    Powers: Control Flames (1), Elemental Steward (1), Control Air (2), Earth Walk (2), Breathless (3), Adapt Body (5), Blackstone Hammer (6)
    Psychic Aura: Allies ignore damage reduction of creatures with an Elemental subtype.
    Summary: The Aura ability is useful, but is pretty specific. The powers and granted ability all make decent filler in terms of utility, but they aren't going to carry a character on their own.
    Energy
    Granted Ability: Expend focus to gain energy resistance for a few rounds.
    Powers: Energy Ray (1), Energy Push (2), Energy Bolt (3), Energy Burst (3), Energy Wall (3), Energy Manipulation (5)
    Psychic Aura: Allies deal an extra 1 point of elemental damage with weapons. +1 damage per 5 levels.
    Summary: The powers aren't bad in terms of DPS, but they are problematic for a Divine Mind. DMs probably aren't going to have the PP to sustain a blasting-based offense, or the DCs to use the area blasts effectively. The granted ability and energy ray can be nice to have, but Energy isn't much good as an initial or secondary mantle choice.
    Evil
    Granted Ability: Expend psionic focus to deal an additional 1d6 damage with an attack against a nonevil creature.
    Powers: Psionic Protection from Good (1), Psionic Death Knell (2), Planar Apothesis (4), Fiendish Conduit (5), Planar Embrace (6)
    Psychic Aura: Allies' weapons count as Evil to overcome DR.
    Summary: For an abomination unto the face of fluff, this mantle isn't too bad. The lack of decent low-level power options should rule it out for an initial mantle, though.
    Fate
    Granted Ability: Expend focus once per day to add class level to a d20 roll.
    Powers: Defensive Precognition (1), Offensive Precognition (1), Clairvoyant Sense (2), Remote Viewing (4), Greater Precognition (6)
    Psychic Aura: Allies can gain +2 insight bonus on any one d20 roll once per day. Bonus increases by 1 for every 5 levels, up to +5 total.
    Summary: All-around useful abilities – decent low-level buffing powers, bonuses that can be applied to anything, some divinations for utility. A solid choice, but unless you're lacking a divining caster, it's not going to bring much to the table but numbers.
    Force
    Granted Ability: +1 deflection to AC when psionically focused.
    Powers: Force Screen (1), Deflection Field (1), Concussion Blast (2), Telekinetic Force (3), Ethereal Volley (3), Telekinetic Maneuver (4), Concussive Detonation (6)
    Psychic Aura: Expend focus to let allies ignore incorporeality's 50% miss chance with their first subsequent attack.
    Summary: Pretty lackluster overall. With Armor proficiencies and little PP, Force Screen isn't particularly useful, the blasting powers are overpriced, TK Maneuver is based off Intelligence, and Ethereal Volley can be replaced relatively inexpensively with a Force bow or arrows. Possibly worth a Tap Mantle for Deflection Field's inexpensive AC boost and TK Force's utility, but Force doesn't offer much but filler.
    Freedom
    Granted Ability: +10 ft speed, spend Psionic Focus to add ML to resist checks against Grapples.
    Powers: Dimension Hop (1), Hustle (2), Psionic Fly (4), Psionic Freedom of Movement (5), Psionic Teleport (5), Evade Burst (6)
    Psychic Aura: +2 to resist and escape grapples. +1 per 4 levels.
    Summary: Almost everything about this mantle is great – swift action movement and psionic focusing, teleports, flight, immunity to battlefield control, resistance to bigger monsters' grabs – this is basically a grocery list of abilities that most gishes would give a leg for.
    Good
    Granted Ability: Expend psionic focus to deal an additional 1d6 damage with an attack against a nongood creature.
    Powers: Psionic Protection from Evil (1), Empathetic Transfer (2), Planar Apothesis (4), Celestial Conduit (5), Planar Embrace (6)
    Psychic Aura: Allies' weapons count as Good to overcome DR.
    Summary: Slightly better than Evil, but basically the same – none of the abilities are bad, but it lacks the low-level options to be useful as a first mantle.
    Guardian
    Granted Ability: Expend psionic focus to take damage in place of an adjacent ally.
    Powers: Deaden Blow (1), Thicken Skin (1), Damp Power (2), Dispel Psionics (3), Wall of Ectoplasm (4), Protection from Psionics (5), Mind over Energy (6)
    Psychic Aura: Allies gain DR 1/-- while you are psionically focused. DR increases by 1 for every 5 levels.
    Summary: Lots of swift and immediate action abilities play nicely with the action economy. The powers aren't anything game-changing, but they're generally inexpensive and mostly effective at what they do. Good filler.
    Justice
    Granted Ability: Expend focus to take AoO against enemy who attacks one of your allies.
    Powers: Call Weaponry (1), Call Armor (1), Incite Bravery (2), Psionic Zone of Truth (2), Aura Sight (4), Psionic Discern Lies (4), Psionic True Seeing (5), Perfect Riposte (6)
    Psychic Aura: Grant +1 to attack an enemy who's attacked your allies. Increase by +1 for every 6 levels.
    Summary: The Granted Ability probably isn't supposed to count you as your own ally, but it does, which is quite good. The aura is also a reliable attack and very nicely stacking attack bonus. Justice can work as an initial mantle, but most of its more useful powers are back-loaded.
    Knowledge
    Granted Ability: While focused, make Knowledge checks as if trained; expend focus for +5 on one check.
    Powers: Call to Mind (1), Detect Psionics (1), Detect Teleportation (1), Know Direction and Location (1), Detect Hostile Intent (2), Psionic Identify (2), Object Reading (2), Touchsight (3), Detect Remote Viewing (4), Trace Teleport (4), Psychometry (6)
    Psychic Aura: Grant +1 to Knowledge checks, +1 per 6 levels.
    Summary: Surprisingly useful, mainly due to Knowledge Devotion and every one of the mantle's powers being loaded into 6 levels. Many of the powers are utility divinations, whose use depends largely on campaign and party composition. With a party wizard (or other divination specialist), it's a pretty average filler discipline; without a wizard, it's very powerful.
    Law
    Granted Ability: Expend psionic focus to deal an additional 1d6 damage with an attack against a nonlawful creature.
    Powers: Grip of Iron (1), Hammer (1), Psionic Lock (2), Heavy Earth (3), Immovability (4), Steadfast Perception (4), Tower of Iron Will (5)
    Psychic Aura +2 Resistance on saves against non-lawful creatures. Increases by 1 per 6 levels.
    Summary: Generally strong granted and aura abilities, powers are mostly useful, but tend to be expensive (Hammer and Tower of Iron Will, especially). There are worse mantles, but there's not a lot of incentive to choose this one.
    Life
    Granted Ability: Expend focus to treat manifester level as 1 higher for powers from this mantle.
    Powers: Touch of Health (1), From the Brink (2), Body Purification (3), Stygian Ward (4), Psionic Revivify (5), Mend Wounds (6), Psionic Restration (6)
    Psychic Aura: +2 on allies' saves against Death effects, +1 per 5 levels, up to +5.
    Summary: For healing abilities, these are expensive, and Divine Minds don't have a lot of room to splurge on PP costs. The mid-to high-leveled powers are a bit more usable, but they're not going to see play if you have a Cleric, Archivist or Favored Soul in the group. With a Cleric/Archivist/FS, this mantle is a waste. Without one, it's a decent choice for high-level filler.
    Light and Darkness
    Granted Ability: Low-light vision, 60ft Darkvision or +30ft Darkvision.
    Powers: Control Light (1) [plus darkness/daylight augments], Elfsight (1), My Light (1), Claws of Darkness (2), Light Beam (4), Psionic Shadow Walk (5)
    Psychic Aura: Treat Light and Darkness powers as 1 level higher.
    Summary: Buy a torch.
    Magic
    Granted Ability: UMD is a class skill, Full Magic-Psionics transparency
    Powers: Metaphysical Weapon (1), Dispel Psionics (3), Power Resistance (5), Psionic Analyze Dweomer (6) [plus augment for additional targets], Null Psionics Field (6)
    Psychic Aura: Weapons treated as Magic for overcoming DR.
    Summary: Mostly useful abilities, but a bit lacking for low-level powers. Good choice for a secondary mantle.
    Mental Power
    Granted Ability: Treat Wisdom as 2 points higher for bonus PP
    Powers: Mind Thrust (1), Id Insinuation (2), Mental Disruption (2), Mind Trap (3), Intellect Fortress (4), Psychic Crush (5), Cranial Deluge (6)
    Psychic Aura: +2 save bonus against mind effects, +1 per 6 levels.
    Summary: Nice abilities, very bad power selection – especially with the Divine Mind's PP constraints.
    Natural World
    Granted Ability: Wild Empathy
    Powers: Chameleon (1), Metaphysical Claw (1), Stone Mind (1), Animal Affinity (2), Psionic Scent (2), Metamorphosis (4), Oak Body (5)
    Psychic Aura: Animals, plants and fey within aura gradually heal.
    Summary: Blue for Metamorphosis alone. The handful of other useful gish powers leave it worthwhile, but aren't anything stunning.
    Pain and Suffering
    Granted Ability: Expend focus as immediate action to deal half the damage you receive from a melee attack to the attacker.
    Powers: Disable (1), Inflict Pain (2), Recall Agony (2), Hostile Empathetic Transfer (3), Forced Share Pain (3), Empathetic Feedback (4), Psychotic Break (5), Fuse Flesh (6)
    Psychic Aura: +1 weapon damage against wounded enemies.
    Summary: Almost all powers rely on saving throws, often with further limitations like static DCs, HD caps or Mind Effect descriptors. A shame, because Fuse Flesh is pretty cool.
    Physical Power
    Granted Ability: Expend focus to game +2 Str, Dex or Con for 1 round.
    Powers: Adrenaline Boost (1), Vigor (1), Animal Affinity (2), Graft Weapon (3), Psychofeedback (5)
    Psychic Aura: +1 on Strength Checks, +1 per 5 levels.
    Summary: Some solid gish powers here, and abilities that can be useful for a tripper. Linked Adrenaline Boost+Vigor is a workable HP engine and Graft Weapon can act as a spell channeling type of ability.
    The Planes
    Granted Ability: Expend Psionic Focus for +4 bonus overcoming outsider's power resistance.
    Powers: Astral Traveler (1), Astral Caravan (3), Psionic Dimensional Anchor (4), Psionic Dismissal (4), Psionic Plane Shift (5), Planar Champion (6)
    Psychic Aura: Pinpoint outsiders and extraplanar creatures within aura. +2 to allies CL/ML checks against outsider SR/PR.
    Summary: Extremely campaign-dependent: the granted and aura abilities can mean essentially ignoring outsider SR (but that's only useful if outsiders are common enough that their SR is worth investing resources in negating) and many of the powers are group utility-oriented, rather than tactical in nature, meaning that either a prepared caster or easy access to Magic items will render them useless as powers known.
    Repose
    Granted Ability: When focused, +2 to Concentration checks. Expend focus for +5 to Concentration checks.
    Powers: Empty Mind (1), Serenity (2), Empathetic Transfer (2), Solicit Psicrystal (3), Steadfast Perception (4), Suspend Life (6)
    Psychic Aura: Suppress Fatigue effects, reduce Exhaustion to Fatigue.

    Summary: The aura ability is quite nice, the granted ability can be useful at low levels, and there's nothing wrong with the powers, but there's very little that's actually appealing here.
    Time
    Granted Ability: +2 Initiative; 1/day delay damage or effects.
    Powers: Deceleration (1), Sustenance (2), Time Hop (3), Anticipatory Strike (5), Temporal Acceleration (6)
    Psychic Aura: +2 Initiative, +1 Reflex saves.
    Summary: Starts slow, but has strong built-in abilities, considerable utility through Time Hop and game-altering action economy tools for the late game.


    DEITIES

    [I'm going to screw with my rating system here, for the sake of a sortable list. Don't let it throw you.
    Just to be super-explicit:

    * = bad
    ** = unremarkable
    *** = good
    **** = amazing
    {table=head]Deity | Book | Rating | Mantles
    Boccob | PHB | *** | Deception, Fate, Knowledge, Magic
    Corellon Larethian | PHB | ** | Chaos, Good, Guardian, Magic
    Ehlonna | PHB | ** | Good, Guardian, Light and Darkness, Natural World
    Erythnul | PHB | * | Chaos, Destruction, Evil, Pain and Suffering
    Fharlanghn | PHB | **** | Communication, Fate, Freedom, Time
    Garl Glittergold | PHB | ** | Good, Guardian, Deception, Knowledge
    Gruumsh | PHB | ** | Chaos, Destruction, Evil, Physical Power
    Heironeous | PHB | *** | Conflict, Good, Justice, Law
    Hextor | PHB | ** | Conflict, Destruction, Evil, Law
    Kord | PHB | ** | Chaos, Conflict, Good, Physical Power
    Moradin | PHB | *** | Creation, Good, Guardian, Law
    Nerull | PHB | * | Consumption, Death, Destruction, Evil
    Obad-Hai | PHB | *** | Communication, Elements, Life, Natural World
    Olidammara | PHB | **** | Chaos, Communication, Deception, Freedom
    Pelor | PHB | * | Good, Force, Life, Light and Darkness
    St. Cuthbert | PHB | ** | Energy, Law, Justice, Physical Power
    Vecna | PHB | * | Corruption and Madness, Evil, Knowledge, The Planes
    Wee Jas | PHB | ** | Death, Law, Magic, Mental Power
    Yondalla | PHB | *** | Communication, Freedom, Good, Repose
    Ilsensine | EPH | ** | Evil, Law, Magic, Mental Power
    Zuoken | EPH | *** | Conflict, Knowledge, Mental Power, Physical Power
    Azuth | FRCS | ** | Knowledge, Law, Magic, Mental Power
    Bane | FRCS | ** | Conflict, Destruction, Evil, Law
    Chauntea | FRCS | *** | Good, Guardian, Life, Natural World
    Cyric | FRCS | * | Chaos, Corruption and Madness, Deception, Evil
    Eilistraee | FRCS | ** | Chaos, Good, Freedom, Light and Darkness
    Gond | FRCS | *** | Creation, Elements, Knowledge, Repose
    Helm | FRCS | ** | Guardian, Law, Physical Power, Repose
    Ilmater | FRCS | * | Good, Law, Life, Pain and Suffering
    Kelemvor | FRCS | *** | Death, Fate, Guardian, Law
    Kossuth | FRCS | * | Destruction, Elements, Energy, The Planes
    Lathander | FRCS | ** | Good, Life, Light and Darkness, Time
    Lolth | FRCS | * | Chaos, Destruction, Evil, Light and Darkness
    Malar | FRCS | ** | Chaos, Evil, Natural World, Physical Power
    Mask | FRCS | ** | Deception, Evil, Fate, Light and Darkness
    Mielikki | FRCS | *** | Freedom, Good, Life, Natural World
    Mystra | FRCS | ** | Deception, Good, Knowledge, Magic
    Oghma | FRCS | **** | Communication, Fate, Freedom, Knowledge
    Selune | FRCS | *** | Chaos, Freedom, Good, Light and Darkness
    Shar | FRCS | ** | Deception, Evil, Knowledge, Light and Darkness
    Shaundakul | FRCS | ** | Chaos, Elements, Freedom, The Planes
    Silvanus | FRCS | ** | Guardian, Life, Natural World, Repose
    Sune | FRCS | ** | Chaos, Communication, Good, Guardian
    Talos | FRCS | ** | Chaos, Destruction, Evil, Natural World
    Tempus | FRCS | ** | Chaos, Conflict, Force, Physical Power
    Torm | FRCS | *** | Good, Guardian, Law, Physical Power
    Tymora | FRCS | *** | Chaos, Fate, Freedom, Good
    Tyr | FRCS | ** | Good, Justice, Knowledge, Law
    Umberlee | FRCS | ** | Chaos, Destruction, Evil, Natural World
    Uthgar | FRCS | *** | Conflict, Justice, Natural World, Physical Power
    Waukeen | FRCS | *** | Consumption, Freedom, Guardian, Knowledge
    Silver Flame | ECS | ** | Good, Guardian, Law, The Planes
    Arawai | ECS | *** | Good, Guardian, Life, Natural World
    Aureon | ECS | ** | Knowledge, Law, Magic, Mental Power
    Balinor | ECS | *** | Elements, Guardian, Natural World, Repose
    Boldrei | ECS | ** | Communication, Good, Justice, Law
    Dol Arrah | ECS | ** | Conflict, Good, Law, Light and Darkness
    Dol Dorn | ECS | ** | Chaos, Conflict, Good, Physical Power
    Kol Korran | ECS | *** | Communication, Consumption, Guardian, Freedom
    Olladra | ECS | ** | Fate, Good, Guardian, Life
    Onatar | ECS | ** | Creation, Energy, Force, Good
    The Devourer | ECS | ** | Destruction, Evil, Natural World, Pain and Suffering
    The Fury | ECS | * | Consumption, Corruption and Madness, Deception, Evil
    The Keeper | ECS | *** | Consumption, Death, Evil, Time
    The Mockery | ECS | ** | Conflict, Destruction, Deception, Evil
    The Shadow | ECS | * | Chaos, Evil, Light and Darkness, Magic
    The Traveler | ECS | *** | Chaos, Creation, Deception, Freedom
    Blood of Vol | ECS | ** | Death, Evil, Knowledge, Law
    Dragon Below | ECS | * | Corruption and Madness, Elements, Evil, The Planes
    Path of Light | ECS | ** | Guardian, Law, Light and Darkness, Repose
    Undying Court | ECS | ** | Death, Fate, Good, Life[/table]
    Last edited by eggs; 2012-09-20 at 01:54 PM.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Ogre in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Straining Credulity: A Divine Mind Handbook

    FEATS AND SKILLS

    GENERAL FEATS


    Psionic Meditation (EPH) – Every psionic character who can afford this, wants this. Psionic focus regulates so many elements of a Divine Mind (Linked Power, mantle abilities, feats, Linked Power…) that restoring it without losing is a standard action is very high priority.
    Psicrystal Affinity (EPH) – Minor bonuses, shared powers and the benefits of a second character. Much more powerful if abusing Metamorphosis.
    Psicrystal Containment (EPH) – A second psionic focus you can use for class abilities, Linked Power and any other psionic feats or abilities you might pick up.
    Dialate Aura (FC2) - Double aura range once per encounter. With the Divine Mind's aura range issues, you'd think this would be useful, but given its starvation for other better feats, it's really not.
    Serenity (DR#306, DMC) – Key Divine Grace and Turning (if applicable) off Wisdom. The feat's utility varies based on ability scores and access to ability boosts.
    Metamorphic Transfer (EPH) – Highly abusable for any high-level Divine Mind with access to Natural World (or an Expanded Knowledge feat to spare).
    Quick Recovery (LoM)– Almost always listed as a good filler feat. It is. But Divine Minds seriously can't afford filler feats.
    Improved Toughness (CWar) – See above.
    Improved Initiative – As above, but feat slots get a bit cheaper at higher levels, and in arena style designs, initiative becomes even more important; endurance less so.
    Tap Mantle (CPsi) – As a feat with no direct benefit, it's usually something you're going to want to try to avoid. But if it's the difference between learning Metamorphosis and Sustenance at level 14, just suck it up and take the feat. Does not restrict options by deity.
    Don Mantle (CPsi) - Gain a mantle's granted ability. This can open some interesting options for a feat slot, but they tend to lack power-wise, compared to manifesting improvements.
    Extra Aura (CPsi) - Gain a new aura option based on your mantle. You're probably not going to get enough out of the difference between your base auras and the new aura to justify a feat.

    MANIFESTING FEATS
    As with the rest of 3e, Magic[ is everything. In this case, psionics are everything. By patching up the Divine Mind's crappy manifesting mechanics, you can both increase its brute casting abilities (with more effective powers delivered more regularly and more efficiently), and its combat abilities (by making its buffs easier to apply and more powerful when they are applied). Addressing those manifesting problems is almost always the first priority with feat slots.
    Practiced Manifester (CPsi) – With the butchered copy/paste from Practiced Spellcaster, it's unclear whether this grants bonus PP from ability scores. Normally, that would change the rating, but either way, every Divine Mind is going to take this as early as possible. It's worth noting that despite the Divine Mind's lack of manifesting until ECL 5, it qualifies at level 1 - making this useful for either retraining or comboing with Hidden Talent to get a jump start on manifesting.
    Linked Power (CPsi) – This feat is what makes psigishes so good. It essentially turns manifestations into free actions. Either link two powers you want to manifest, or link a power you want to a low-level swift or immediate-action power, and you're essentially winning free actions. And as a general tactical rule, whoever can take the most actions is the closest to winning.
    Hidden Talent (EPH, p.67) – 2 PP and a power known from any power list. This feat can be useful in place of the ACF, due to the ACF's restriction to a mantle you already have.
    [[SUGGESTIONS – Expansion, Grip of Iron, Synchronicity, Claws of the Beast, Astral Construct, Dimension Hop, Psionic Charm, Synesthete, Psionic Minor Creation Entangling Ectoplasm]]
    Boost Construct (EPH) – Makes Ectopic Ally even stronger.
    Quicken Power (EPH) – I list this because it's a power almost every primary manifester will want. But it's expensive – more expensive than a Divine Mind is typically able to afford. With Linked Power on the table (you're using CPsi anyway), Quicken is very rarely going to be a worthwhile choice.
    Extend Power (EPH) – Extending buffs can mean manifesting them less often, and saving PP. In practice, this can sometimes be difficult with shorter-duration powers, but it's still a solid feat choice.
    Overchannel (EPH) - Turn HP into manifester levels. Generally speaking, you're going to have an abundance of HP and a great shortage of Manifester levels. Very appealing feat.
    Expanded Knowledge (EPH) – Learn a new power from any list. Due to their crappy manifesting, Divine Minds use this less effectively than other classes, but due to their crappy casting, they often need it more.
    Psychic Meditation (ME) – This feat has a few benefits. The one that matters most to a Divine Mind is the bonus PP. This is essentially one feat for extra PP equal to a character's ML. Compare it to Wild or Psionic Talent, and it's pretty clearly a good deal.
    Greater Psychic Meditation (ME) – Same as Psychic Meditation, except it's functionally double a character's ML in PP for one feat which can be taken multiple times. Sneaking this in once or twice is excellent for a Divine Mind's endurance.
    Psycarnum Infusion (MoI) + Midnight Augmentation (MoI) – You can invest Essentia into Midnight Augmentation to reduce augmentation costs. You can discharge your psionic focus with Psycarnum Infusion to treat an incarnum receptacle as full. Combine them for best results (requires Psionic Meditation or Psicrystal Containment).
    Combat Manifesting (EPH) - You need to crank Concentration up anyway to assume Psionic Focus. At low levels, when defensive manifesting is still problematic, you won't be manifesting often enough to justify the feat. Skip this noise.
    Shielded Manifesting (RoS) - Don't provoke AoOs while manifesting, If you ignored the advice above and took Combat Manifesting, this isn't a bad feat. But I would strongly recommend not ignoring the advice above.

    COMBAT FEATS

    Power Attack – It's a staple of melee feats, but with their medium base attack and general feat starvation, Divine Minds have a hard time using it effectively, and it comes at the cost of a feat that could help to patch the Divine Mind's crippled manifesting.
    Improved Bull Rush+Shock Trooper (CW) – Shock Trooper is a great benefit – especially to pouncing Divine Minds. For most classes, I'd color Shock Trooper a bright light blue, but with Divine Mind, the three-feat cost absolutely cripples the class's manifesting, and DM still struggles to charge effectively.
    Psionic Strike (EPH) – Red not because an extra 2d6 damage is harmful, but because both the feat slot and psionic focus could be used for greater benefit in mantle abilities or metapsionics.
    Deep Impact (EPH) – With Hustle, this can make for an expected damage increase when applied to one of the Divine Mind's iterative attacks. Without Hustle, this is either 1/encounter or comes at the cost of a full attack action – either way, its two-feat cost becomes very difficult to justify, compared to the free option of full attacking.
    Stand Still (EPH) - This is one of the cheapest and easiest ways for a character to function as a melee controller, and it works as nicely for the Divine Mind as it does for most other classes.
    Point Blank Shot+Rapid Shot – Divine Minds are able to scrounge more damage-boosting abilities than most classes, making archery one of the few areas where the class actually shines. Adding attacks multiplies the benefits of those damage boosts.
    Zen Archery (CWar) – Use Wis in place of Dex on melee attack; can be useful for Divine Mind archers.
    Knowledge Devotion (CCha) – Taking 10 with the Knowledge Mantle, it's +2 to +3 attack and damage on its own. Adding ranks, skill tricks and items, it's not hard to cap out with +5 insight to attack and damage fairly inexpensively.
    Master of Poisons (DotU) – Poisoncrafting and poison-using are typically ways to make mediocre classes capable in combat. Master of Poisons is one of the tools to doing that well – it's poison use and swift weapon application rolled into one feat. The other tool is Psionic Minor Creation; if you go this route, try to get both.
    Exotic Weapon Proficiency - Paying a feat for proficiency can hurt, but a couple weapons can justify it. The three I would consider using the feat for are Spiked Chain, Chain (OA) and Mancatcher (CWar).
    Heavy Armor Optimization (RoS) + Deflective Armor (RoS) - Boost heavy armor bonuses by 1 and add your armor bonus to touch AC while focused. I do recommend heavy armor, and neither of these abilities hurts to have, but these feats are something of a luxury. These aren't bad feats, but be sure to have your manifesting bases covered before thinking about grabbing them.

    MANTRA FEATS
    Mantra feats were introduced by Dreamscarred Press (so WotC-only posters can just skip on by); they provide temporary benefits when a character gains psionic focus, as well as a greater benefit when focus is expended again. They combine handily with several mantles' discharge abilities, as well as Linked Power-user tactics. I have only listed the more useful options.
    Fury of the Storm (DSP) – Gain a Flurry of Blows-like ability after assuming psionic focus. Discharge for a second extra attack at a greater penalty. Even with attack penalty, increases chances of hit.
    Rage of the Fallen (DSP) – Charge temporary Hit Points as allies take damage, gain a full attack as an immediate action if an ally drops. Even assuming you don't count as your own ally for this feat, your summons probably do, which could give you a very usable HP/Attack engine.
    Riding the Waves (DSP) – Use Wisdom on melee attacks in place of Strength, expend focus to add Wisdom to damage rolls for one round.
    Student of the Mind (DSP) – Powers cost 1 PP less (doesn't affect maximum augmentations, but does help endurance), discharge for PR 10+ML.

    DIVINE/DOMAIN FEATS
    For Divine Minds with access to Turn Undead (through Stygian Path or dips), these use the Divine Mind's potentially high Charisma bonus or Nightsticks to fuel various benefits.
    Animal Devotion (CCha) – Swift activation, nicely stacking Strength bonus, fly speed or Charisma-based poison bite attack damaging Constitution. One minute of daily use, plus one minute per three daily Turn attempts permanently sacrificed. All are useful abilities – especially flight for Divine Minds lacking the Freedom domain.
    Death Devotion (CCha) – As a swift action, deal Negative levels with melee attacks. One minute of daily use, plus one minute per three daily Turn attempts permanently sacrificed. Useful for Divine Minds who want to do melee debuffing.
    Divine Might (CWar) – Burn a Turn attempt to add Charisma to damage for a round. Nice effect, but for two feats, Turning access and a turning use, it's a bit skimpy.
    Divine Shield (CWar) – Burn a Turn attempt as a standard action to add Charisma to AC for a few rounds. Again, good effect, but for its investment, it's just okay.
    Divine Vigor (CWar) – Burn a Turn attempt as a standard action to gain a speed boost and temporary HP for a few minutes. The longer duration makes me friendlier to this than CW's other divine feats, but it's still a lot of investment, and prebuffing time is sometimes difficult to manage.
    Evil Devotion (CCha) – As a swift action, allies' weapons count as Evil allies gain DR/Good. One minute daily use, plus one minute per Turn attempt permanently sacrificed. Useful for its swift activation, party-wide buffing and low Turn cost, works well with aura tactics.
    Good Devotion (CCha) – As Evil, but with the alignments flipped.
    Law Devotion (CCha) – Large bonuses to attack or AC as a Swift Action. One minute per day; extra daily use costs three turn undead attempts. Useful because the bonuses are huge.
    Plant Domain (CCha) – Activate as an immediate action, increase natural armor, gain scaling fortification for one minute daily, plus one activation per two Turn attempts sacrificed. Useful for nice defensive bonus, relatively inexpensive turning cost.
    Protection Devotion (CCha) – Sizable AC boost to all allies in 30 ft. One minute per day; extra uses cost three turn undead attempts. Useful for party-wide buffing as a swift action. Works well with aura tactics.
    Sacred Vitality (LM) – Lose a turn attempt to gain immunities to ability damage, ability drain and negative levels for a minute as a standard action. It's a bit of a stretch to spare a feat for it, but in certain combinations, it can be useful (especially those involving ability burn, as it's a specific type of ability damage).
    Strength Devotion (CCha) – Activate as a swift action for one minute, ignore hardness and DR/adamantine, gain a natural attack, add one extra use per turn undead attempt sacrificed. Useful for inexpensive extra uses, extra attack and for facilitating the simple joys of smashing **** up.
    Travel Devotion (CCha) – Activate as a swift action, for one minute, move your speed as a swift action; gain one extra minute per two turn undead attempts sacrificed. Useful for providing the much-sought ability to move and full attack.

    COHORT FEATS
    Due to the lack of a cap on the number of allies included in their passive buffing mechanisms, Divine Minds tend to gain more from feats that grant companions/secondary characters than most other classes. Unfortunately, those feats are already utterly broken.
    Wild Cohort (web) – The most reasonable cohort feat. Gain a nerfed animal companion.
    Leadership – Not the most reasonable cohort feat. Gaining extra characters is very powerful, and this does it in the most straightforward way (as well as providing a slew of back-up characters). Gain a cohort of your character's level -2.
    Improved Cohort (HoB) – The cohort gains a level. Because Leadership needs to be stronger.
    Undead Leadership (LM) – Leadership, but specifically for undead followers.
    Dragon Cohort (Drac) – Gain a high-level dragon companion.

    SKILLS
    Autohypnosis – Useful skill applies to all sorts of nifty things. Especially useful to crank in the low-level game.
    Climb – Stops mattering when flight and teleportation creep into the game.
    Concentration – Required for combat manifesting and recovering psionic focus. Those are vital to what the Divine Mind does. This should be capped out at all times.
    Craft – Blue with Psionic Minor Creation. As mentioned with Master of Poisons, poisoncrafting and poison-using are typically workable methods for recovering a weak class; this is one of the tools to do that well.
    Jump – Stops mattering when flight and teleportation creep into the game.
    Knowledge (psionics) – Useful for qualifying for Knowledge Devotion; expensive to do more than dabble after that.
    Knowledge (religion) – Useful for qualifying for Knowledge Devotion; expensive to do more than dabble after that.
    Profession – I like flavor skills as much as the next guy, but you don't have many skill points. You can't afford this noise.
    Psicraft – 4 ranks required for Practiced Manifester. It'd be nice to afford more; it's a useful skill. But Intelligence is typically not going to be a Divine Mind's strong point, and skill points are always scarce.
    Ride – Without a built-in level-appropriate mount, riding isn't always practical. But Ectopic Ally is built-in and level appropriate; there are some possibilities there. You're still probably going to want to trade this out for Tumble, though.
    Swim - Situational. Can be trivialized without much difficulty, but can be a devastating skill to lack if unprepared.
    Tumble – From Skilled City Dweller; Tumble allows you to avoid Attacks of Opportunity while moving in melee. If you plan on being in melee, those are checks you will be rolling.

    SKILL TRICKS
    Back on Your Feet (CSco) – Stand up from prone as an immediate action. Negates common melee lockdown tactics. Requires Tumble ranks.
    Collector of Stories (CSco) – An additional +5 to Knowledge Devotion rolls.
    Nimble Stand (CSco) – Don't provoke AoOs when standing up from prone. Weakens common melee lockdown tactics. Requires Tumble ranks.
    Swift Concentration (CSco) – Maintain concentration as Swift action. Use depends on power selection.
    Walk the Walls (CSco) – Climb short distances as part of movement. Requires Tumble ranks.
    Last edited by eggs; 2012-09-20 at 02:10 PM.

  6. - Top - End - #6
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    Default Re: Straining Credulity: A Divine Mind Handbook

    ITEMS
    I'm going to leave aside the obvious items like Wisdom enhancements, resistance save bonuses, a variety of AC boosts, etc. Just covering all those with a quick rule of thumb, if it makes a number you care about go up, and it does so at minimal expense, you want it.

    This list is not comprehensive, but it's where I'd start:

    WEAPON:
    Type:
    The Divine Mind doesn't have a lot of abilities that encourage any one weapon style over another - its BA gives it trouble using Power Attack on two-handed weapons, it doesn't have the bonus damage or the feat selection to effectively use Two-weapon fighting, and archery can be problematic with high demands on low-level feat slots. The most effective weapon setups for a divine mind tend to be:
    • Ranged Weaponry - If you can muster the feats early, ranged weapons allow easy full attacks, multiplication of the Psychic Aura's damage boosts and more affordable damage enhancements than melee weaponry (remember that while enhancement bonuses to bows and arrows don't stack in 3.5, enhancement effects like Bane or Collision do).
    • Reach Weapons - With a Guisarme or Glaive, the Divine Mind can at least act as a battlefield controller. Stand Still is able to generate challenging DCs even without sources of high bonus damage.
    • Weapon+Shield - This is an unpopular fighting style in 3.5 because it's usually not an effective way to deal damage (and because of the Animated shield enhancement). This holds for the Divine Mind, but with one exception - past level 8, the useful abilities that the Divine Mind brings to the table aren't coming from its melee; they're coming from its PLAs, Auras and powers. It's often more useful to save some GP from shield animation and just turtle up to defend your manifestations.
    Deep Crystal Weapon (EPH) – 1,000 gp. Special material. Spend 2 PP to deal 2d6 damage with weapon attack. Trading PP for damage is typically not a good trade for the PP-starved Divine Mind, but this is at least more cost-effective than direct blasting.
    Manifester Weapon – 16,000 gp. Decent ability on its own. Gets silly (read: shamefully abusive) when ammunition pricing is brought into the mix.
    Sudden Stunning Weapon (DMG2) – 2,000 gp. Forces a Charisma-based stun with daily uses equal to your Charisma bonus.
    Initiative (OA) – 10,000 gp. +2 Luck to Initiative
    Eager (MIC) - +1 Bonus +2 to Initiative and damage in the first round.
    Warning (MIC) – +1 bonus. +5 Insight to Initiative
    Greater Dispelling (MIC) – +2 Bonus. CL 15 Greater Dispel Magic on target struck in melee 3/day.
    Spellblade (PGtF) – 6,000 gp. Immunity to any spell. If prevents a spell, recast it as a free action the subsequent round.
    Splitting (UE) - +3 bonus for archers. Doubles number of arrows. A bit too good, but a workable method to carry a slouching archer build.
    Force - +2 bonus, also for archers. Arrows turn into force attacks, ignoring the DR that murders volley builds.
    Sizing (MIC) - Keep weapons size-appropriate while using morph powers.

    HEAD
    Scout's Headband (MIC) – 3,400 gp. Various perception abilities including See Invisibility and True Seeing. Useful for Divine Minds without Touchsight or Steadfast Perception.
    Crown of the White Raven (ToB) – 3,000 gp. Learn a White Raven Maneuver of 3rd level or lower. Recommended: Douse the Flames
    Circlet of Rapid Casting (MIC) – 15,000 gp. Receives major benefits from Magic-Psionics transparency: quicken standard action powers using charges based on level.
    Surge Crystal (MIC) - 18,000 gp. Mini-Overchannel from an item. It's not as good as the real thing, but any way you spin it, raising ML is exactly what you want to do.
    EYES
    Corsair's Eyepatch (MIC) – 3,000 gp. 3/day See Invisibility as a Swift action.
    Eyes of Truth (MIC) – 5,500 gp. 1/day True Seeing as a Swift action.
    Blindfold of True Darkness (MIC) – 9,000 gp. 30ft. Blindsight.
    Third Eye Concentrate (EPH) – 10,000 gp. +10 Concentration
    NECK
    Amulet of Tears (MIC) – 2,300 gp. 12 Temp HP as a swift action 3/day.
    Devoted Spirit Amulet (ToB) – 3,000 gp. Learn a Devoted Spirit Maneuver of 3rd level or lower. Recommended: Shield Block
    Torc of Power Preservation - Both iterations are invaluable. The EPH version is better if it can both be afforded and allowed into a game despite revision.
    Torc of Power Preservation (MIC) – 4,000 gp. Powers cost 1 PP less to manifest 5/day.
    Torc of Power Preservation (EPH) – 36,000 gp. Powers cost 1 PP less to manifest.
    TORSO
    Winged Vest (MIC) - 12,000 gp. Swift flight, short duration and limited uses, but plenty for most days' use at a fairly low cost.
    BODY
    Type:
    This is typically where your armor goes. As a Divine Mind, where Dexterity is typically low priority, there are two general approaches you're going to take with armor:
    • Heavy - Get a suit of fullplate, load it with enhancements. Most Divine Minds won't have the dexterity for its limits to be noticeable, and the armor boost is always nice.
    • None - Don't wear armor at all. Instead, put on a Monk's belt for Wisdom-to-AC, throw on some Inertial or Mage armor (both are inexpensive through items or allied casting) and free up the body magic item slot.
    Iron Heart Vest (ToB) – 3,000 gp. Learn an Iron Wind Maneuver of 3rd level or lower. Recommended: Wall of Blades
    Slick Armor (DMG) – 3,750 gp to 33,750 gp. Escape Artist bonus (+5 to +15); don't get grappled (unless you're using a Grappling build).
    Mantle of Second Chances (DMG2) - 6,000 gp. Reroll one d20 roll per day.
    Owlflight Armor (MIC) – 8,160 gp. Inexpensive multiuse item of flight. Useful for Divine Minds without the Freedom mantle (or with it; PP isn't free).
    Skin of the Proteus (EPH) – 84,000 gp. Continual Metamorphosis. Expensive, but Continual Metamorphosis.
    WAIST
    Healing Belt (MIC) – 750 gp. Inexpensive self-healing for low levels.
    Stone Dragon Belt (ToB) – 3,000 gp. Learn a Stone Dragon Maneuver of 3rd level or lower. Recommended: Mountain Hammer
    Belt of Battle (MIC) – 12,000 gp. Extra actions. You want those.
    Monk's Belt (DMG) – 13,000 gp. Wisdom to AC, plus other minor benefits. For a Wis-heavy class, it's gold.
    SHOULDERS
    Cloak of Elemental Protection (Minis) – 1,000 gp. Immediate Energy resistance.
    Shadow Cloak (DotU) - 5,500 gp. Immediate teleport when attacked.
    ARMS
    Armband of Elusive Action (MIC) – 800 gp. Don't provoke AoO 1/day.
    Bracers of the Entangling Blast (MIC) – 2,000 gp. 3/day damaging power entangles target for 1d3 rounds (no save). You probably won't want blasting powers, but if you have them, this is brilliant.
    Bracers of the Blast Barrier (MIC) – 3,200 gp. 3/day Turn blasting power into a temporary damaging wall. An alternative to Entngling Blast which works better with Entangling Ectoplasm.
    Bracers of Blinding Strike (MIC) – 5,000 gp. +2 Competence to Initiative and Haste 3 rounds/day.
    HANDS
    Shadow Hands (ToB) – 3,000 gp. Learn a Shadow Hand Maneuver of 3rd level or lower. Recommended: Shadow Jaunt
    Gauntlets of War (CCha) – 4,000 gp. +3 damage if you worship one of the gishly deities.
    RINGS
    Ring of the Diamond Mind (ToB) – 3,000 gp. Learn a Diamond Mind Maneuver of 3rd level or lower. Recommended: Emerald Razor
    Stormfire Ring (MIC) – 4,000 gp. Faerie Fire 5/day, plus damage effect.
    Ring of Enduring Arcana (CM) - 3,000 gp. Manifester level counts as 4 higher against dispels.
    Ring of Negative Protection (MIC) – 36,000 gp. Immunity to negative levels.
    FEET
    Anklets of Translocation (MIC) – 1,400 gp. 10 ft. Teleport as a Swift action 2/day (requires line of effect).
    Steadfast Boots (MIC) – 1,400 gp. Bonuses to avoid combat maneuvers, and count as readied against charge attacks.
    Slippers of the Setting Sun (ToB) – 3,000 gp. Learn a Setting Sun Maneuver of 3rd level or lower. Recommended: Counter Charge
    Quicksilver Boots (MIC) - 3,200 gp. Move land speed as swift action 2/day.
    Boots of Big Stepping (MIC) – 6,000 gp. 60 ft. Teleport as Standard action 3/day (does not require line of effect). ML boost for teleportation powers.
    Boots of Speed (DMG) – 12,000 gp. Haste 10 rounds per day.
    Boots of Temporal Acceleration (MIC) – 43,000 gp. Temporal Acceleration for 2 rounds per day. Short use, but huge benefit.

    TOOLS/OTHER
    Heward's Fortifying Bedroll (CM) - 3,000 gp. Spend 1 hour resting to benefit from a full 8 hours' rest. This is useful both to give a Divine Mind more time in a day and to facilitate degenerate nova/narcolepsy tactics (which are lame, but which help the Divine Mind disproportionately, given its small PP pool and the benefits of power augmentation).
    Power Link Quori Shard (MoE) - 3,000 gp. Ruin one of the balancing rules of psionics at a low price. These are ridiculous; avoid them unless playing very high op (if you're trying to use a DM there, you're going to need them)
    Nightsticks (LM) - 7,500 gp. For any Divine Mind with Turning Access (either through a dip or Stygian Path), Nightsticks provide 4 daily Turnings apiece. The important metagame takeaway is that it allows a Divine Mind to tank Charisma and still come out ahead.
    Inspiration Shield (FoW) - 11,000 gp enhancement. Double your aura radius for a flat cost. If you want party buffing to be a meaningful part of your repertoire, you'll probably need this. Fairly pricey though.
    Quiver of Energy (CPsi) - 15,750 gp. Arrows stored in the quiver deal an additional +1d6 elemental damage. The price tag is rather steep, but for an archer, it's cheaper than buying damage enhancements. Consider it a long-term investment.
    Orange Ioun Stone (DMG)– 30,000 gp. +1 Manifester Level.
    Cognizance Crystals (EPH) – 1,000 to 81,000 gp. Extra Power Points for gold.
    Power Repository Quori Shard (MoE) - 3,000 to 48,000 gp. Swap powers known for powers from any other list of equal level. The 3rd and 4th level shards get spendy, but freedom from the Mantle mechanic is always useful.
    Last edited by eggs; 2012-12-13 at 04:48 PM.

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    Default Re: Straining Credulity: A Divine Mind Handbook

    Road Warrior of Fharlanghn - standard control-oriented gish build.
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    Divine Mind 20
    Mantles: Freedom (1), Communication (6), Time (12)
    ACFs: Ectopic Ally
    Race: Human
    Feats: Practiced Manifester (1), Hidden Talent (H), Wild Talent (DM), Stand Still (3), Linked Power (6), Psionic Meditation (9), Tap Mantle: Natural World (12), Psychic Meditation (15), Metamorphic Transfer (18)
    Powers Known: Entangling Ectoplasm (1), Dimension Hop (5), Psionic Charm Person (6), Hustle (8), Psionic Tongues (10), Time Hop (12), Metamorphosis (14), Metaphysical Claw (16), Anticipatory Strike (18), Temporal Acceleration (20)
    Starting Elite Array: Str 14 Dex 10 Con 13 Int 8 Wis 15 Cha 12

    Level breakdowns:
    Level 6:
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    ML: 6
    Daily PP: 24 (expected 6 per combat)
    Feats: Practiced Manifester, Hidden Talent, Wild Talent, Stand Still, Linked Power
    +1 Glaive +10 melee 1d10+7
    Aura: +2 Attack/Damage, 10 ft.
    Powers: Entangling Ectoplasm, Psionic Charm, Dimension Hop
    Ectopic Ally: Astral Construct III (3 HD, Medium), 3/day.
    Stats: Str 16 Dex 10 Con 13 Int 8 Wis 18 Cha 12
    Notable Equipment: Periapt of Wisdom +2, Gauntlets of Ogre Power, Healing Belt, +1 Glaive, +1 Fullplate

    Primarily functions as a controller - Stand Still plus a reach weapon allows for easy and effective movement control outside the DM's turn, Dimension Hop allows for excellent mobility and Entangling Ectoplasm, Charm and Ectopic Ally provide offensive options targeting a wide array of defenses. Though its most powerful game-enders are still somewhat limited by target validity (Charm) and daily uses (Ectopic Ally), the Divine Mind is going to be a meaningful contributor to party victories and problem-solving at this level.

    Plus it has the option to nova for an Astral Construct V (7HD, Large) 1/day.

    Level 12:
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    ML: 12
    Daily PP: 71 (expected 17 per combat)
    Feats: Practiced Manifester, Hidden Talent, Wild Talent, Stand Still, Linked Power, Psionic Meditation, Tap Mantle: Natural World
    +3 Sudden Stunning Glaive +20/+20/+15 melee 1d10+12
    Aura: +3 Attack/Damage, +4 Initiative/Listen/Spot, 25 ft.
    Powers: Entangling Ectoplasm, Psionic Charm, Dimension Hop, Hustle, Psionic Tongues, Time Hop
    Ectopic Ally: Astral Construct VI (10 HD, Large), 6/day.
    Stats: Str 18 Dex 10 Con 15 Int 8 Wis 22 Cha 14
    Notable Equipment: Torc of Power Preservation and Wisdom +4 and Health +2, Belt of Giant Strength +4, Boots of Speed, +3 Sudden Stunning Glaive, Winged Mask, +2 Fullplate, Cloak of Charisma +2

    At this point, the Divine Mind is still approaching its game-altering endgame powers, but it has become much better at what it does. It can regularly afford to swing its mind control powers at almost anything that isn't immune, its Aura is starting to be genuinely useful, Time Hop is providing additional utility and the Ectopic Ally is robust enough to take a few blows. Its melee offense is dwindling, but its Stand still DC is still difficult at an expected 27, and the DM can tag a stun effect on as a rider for high-fort opponents.

    And if things go crazy, the Divine Mind can spend 4 Ectopic Ally uses for an Astral Construct IX (19 HD).

    Level 18:
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    ML: 19
    Daily PP: 173 (expected 43 per combat)
    Feats: Practiced Manifester, Hidden Talent, Wild Talent, Stand Still, Linked Power, Psionic Meditation, Tap Mantle: Natural World, Psychic Meditation, Metamorphic Transfer
    +5 Sudden Stunning Sizing Spellblade Glaive of Initiative +35/+35/+30/+25 melee 2d6+28
    Aura: +4 Attack/Damage, +5 Initiative/Listen/Spot, 40 ft.
    Powers: Entangling Ectoplasm, Psionic Charm, Dimension Hop, Hustle, Psionic Tongues, Time Hop
    Ectopic Ally: Astral Construct IX (19 HD, Huge), 9/day.Stats: Str 18 Dex 10 Con 15 Int 8 Wis 22 Cha 14
    Notable Equipment: Torc of Power Preservation and Wisdom +6 and Health +4, Belt of Battle and Giant Strength +6, Boots of Speed, Orange Ioun Stone, +5 Sudden Stunning Sizing Spellblade Glaive of Initiative, +5 Fullplate of Heavy Fortification, Cloak of Resistance +5 and Charisma +4, Circlet of Rapid Casting, Winged Mask, Tome of Understanding +5

    Attack and damage based on a Fire Giant form - others are possible to suit a situation's needs.

    At this point, Divine Mind shouldn't even bother pretending that it can't the action economy into pieces with Anticipatory Strike, Hustle and Linked Power and the sheer number of gamebreaking options facilitated through Metamorphic Transfer put the Divine Mind into the same game as the power players. PP limits are somewhat severe, but it doesn't take much - Hustle+Metamorphosis is 10 PP and is frankly all the Divine Mind needs to perform level-appropriately. Ectopic Ally, Mind Control, and the still-cheap-and-useful Entangling Ectoplasm are just gravy.


    Wrassler of Torm - stretching the DM in a grapplinger direction.
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    Divine Mind 20
    Race: Half-Giant (with LA buyoff)
    Mantles: Physical Power (1), Law (6), Guardian (12)
    ACFs: Ectopic Ally, Stygian Path
    Feats: Hidden Talent (1), Wild Talent (DM), Practiced Manifester (3), Mancatcher Proficiency (6), Law Devotion (9), Linked Power (12), Psionic Meditation (15), Tap Mantle: Natural World (18)
    Powers Known: Expansion (1), Vigor (5), Grip of Iron (6), Animal Affinity (8), Hammer (10), Dispel Psionics (12), Steadfast Perception (14), Wall of Ectoplasm (16), Metamorphosis (18), Oak Body (20)
    Starting Elite Array: Str 16 Dex 13 Con 14 Int 10 Wis 15 Cha 8

    Level 6:
    Spoiler
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    ML: 6
    Daily PP: 26 (20 after 2 extended Expansions; 5 expected per combat)
    Feats: Hidden Talent, Wild Talent, Practiced Manifester, Mancatcher Proficiency
    +1 Mancatcher +11 melee 1d8+9+Grapple
    Mancatcher Grapple: +25
    Aura: +2 Attack/Damage, 10 ft.
    Powers: Expansion, Vigor, Grip of Iron
    Ectopic Ally: Astral Construct III (3 HD, Medium), 3/day.
    Stats: Str 18 Dex 13 Con 14 Int 10 Wis 18 Cha 8
    Notable Equipment: Periapt of Wisdom +2, Gauntlets of Ogre Power, Healing Belt, +1 Mancatcher, +1 Fullplate


    By this point, LA is pretty close to bought off, grapple is quite considerable. Astral Constructs provide the majority of the build's utility options.

    Level 12:
    Spoiler
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    ML: 12
    Daily PP: 66 (48 after 2 extended Expansions; 12 expected per combat)
    Feats: Hidden Talent, Wild Talent, Practiced Manifester, Mancatcher Proficiency, Law Devotion, Linked Power
    +3 Mancatcher +23/+18 melee 2d6+16+Grapple
    Mancatcher Grapple: +50
    Aura: +3 Attack/Damage, +3 strength checks and grapples, 25 ft.
    Powers: Expansion, Vigor, Grip of Iron, Animal Affinity, Hammer, Dispel Psionics
    Ectopic Ally: Astral Construct VI (10 HD, Large), 6/day.
    Stats: Str 20 Dex 13 Con 16 Int 10 Wis 22 Cha 8
    Notable Equipment: Torc of Power Preservation and Wisdom +4 and Health +2, Belt of Giant Strength +4, +3 Mancatcher, +3 Fullplate, Cloak of Resistance +3, Nightstick x2, Winged Boots

    Pretty serious grappling going on here, plus alternative offensive options via Dispel and Ectopic Ally (which can also be a serious brute force). Needs a Night Stick or two to keep Law Devotion running.

    Dispel Psionics is specifically notable for its inexpensive scaling. For 7 PP, it stays level-appropriate for an ECL 12 character - still too much for a Divine Mind to spam, but cheap enough to be worked into the rest of the character's routine.

    Level 18:
    Spoiler
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    ML: 19
    Daily PP: 148 (130 after 2 extended Expansions; 32 expected per combat)
    Feats: Hidden Talent, Wild Talent, Practiced Manifester, Mancatcher Proficiency, Law Devotion, Linked Power, Psionic Meditation, Tap Mantle: Natural World
    +5 Mancatcher +39/+34/+29 melee 2d6+29+Grapple
    Mancatcher Grapple: +70
    Aura: +4 Attack/Damage, +4 strength checks and grapples, 40 ft.
    Powers: Expansion, Vigor, Grip of Iron, Animal Affinity, Hammer, Dispel Psionics, Steadfast Perception, Wall of Ectoplasm, Metamorphosis
    Ectopic Ally: Astral Construct IX (19 HD, Huge), 9/day.
    Stats: Str 36 Dex 9 Con 25 Int 10 Wis 22 Cha 8
    Notable Equipment: Torc of Power Preservation and Wisdom +6 and Health +4, Belt of Giant Strength +6, +5 Mancatcher, +5 Fullplate of Great Fortification, Cloak of Resistance +5, Nightstick x2, Winged Boots, Orange Ioun Stone, Circlet of Rapid Casting, Tome of Understanding +4

    (Morphed into a Fire Giant - that's about as conservative as I'm going to expect anything other than a full caster to play at this level.)

    At this point, Dispel is really going to be the build's go-to strategy (freedom of movement and teleports are pretty serious issues), but Grappling is still going to lock many monsters down and work in clean-up. Plus there are plenty of Astral Constructs and Walls of Ectoplasm to go around.


    Zen Archer of Zuoken - Pretty standard archer build
    Spoiler
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    Divine Mind 20
    Race: Human
    Mantles: Conflict (1), Knowledge (6), Mental Power (12)
    Feats: Point Blank Shot (1), Rapid Shot (H), Longbow Focus (CM), Hidden Talent (DM), Practiced Manifester (3), Knowledge Devotion (6), Zen Archery (9), Tap Mantle: Time (12), Linked Power (15), Psionic Meditation (18)
    Powers: Metaphysical Weapon
    Starting Elite Array: Str 12 Dex 13 Con 14 Int 10 Wis 15 Cha 8

    Level 6:
    Spoiler
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    ML: 6
    Daily PP: 20 (expected 5 per combat)
    Feats: Point Blank Shot, Rapid Shot, Weapon Focus (Longbow), Practiced Manifester, Knowledge Devotion
    +1 Composite Longbow +11/+11 ranged 1d8+7
    Aura: +2 Attack/Damage, 10 ft.
    Powers: Metaphysical Weapon, Offensive Prescience, Detect Psionics
    Ectopic Ally: Astral Construct III (3 HD, Medium), 3/day.
    Stats: Str 12 Dex 15 Con 14 Int 10 Wis 18 Cha 12
    Notable Equipment: Periapt of Wisdom +2, Gloves of Dexterity +2, Healing Belt, +1 Composite Longbow, +1 Breastplate, Cloak of Resistance +1

    As usual, rocky at low levels, but Ectopic Ally has some utility built-in, and this guy should have plenty of book-smarts, if a knowledge monkey is needed.

    Level 12:
    Spoiler
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    ML: 12
    Daily PP: 60 (expected 15 per combat)
    Feats: Point Blank Shot, Rapid Shot, Weapon Focus (Longbow), Practiced Manifester, Knowledge Devotion, Zen Archery, Tap Mantle: Time
    +4 Splitting Composite Longbow +23/+23/+23/+23/+23/+23/+18/+18 ranged 1d8+13+enhance?
    Aura: +3 Attack/Damage, +4 Initiative/Spot/Listen, 25 ft.
    Powers: Metaphysical Weapon, Offensive Prescience, Detect Psionics, Detect Hostile Intent, Object Reading, Dimension Slide
    Ectopic Ally: Astral Construct VI (10 HD, Large), 6/day.
    Stats: Str 16 Dex 13 Con 16 Int 10 Wis 22 Cha 12
    Notable Equipment: Torc of Power Preservation and Wisdom +4 and Health +2, Healing Belt of Strength +4, +1 Splitting Composite Longbow, +1 Fullplate, Cloak of Resistance +2, Boots of Speed, 50 arrows with various +1 enhancements.

    Use specialized bow enhancements crank damage higher (appropriate +1 Bane arrows are ideal, but +1 Psychokinetic arrows are a more reasonable expectation).

    PP are scarce, but aren't used for much beside Offensive Prescience. Dimension slide, knowledge skills/powers and Ectopic ally cover for non-DPS needs.

    Level 18:
    Spoiler
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    ML: 19
    Daily PP: 60 (expected 15 per combat)
    Feats: Point Blank Shot, Rapid Shot, Weapon Focus (Longbow), Practiced Manifester, Knowledge Devotion, Zen Archery, Tap Mantle: Time
    +5 Splitting Composite Longbow +33/+33/+33/+33/+33/+33/+28/+28/+23/+23 ranged 1d8+21+enhance?
    Aura: +4 Attack/Damage, +4 Initiative/Spot/Listen, 25 ft.
    Powers: Metaphysical Weapon, Offensive Prescience, Detect Psionics, Detect Hostile Intent, Object Reading, Dimension Slide
    Ectopic Ally: Astral Construct IX (19 HD, Huge), 9/day.
    Stats: Str 18 Dex 13 Con 16 Int 10 Wis 25 Cha 16
    Notable Equipment: Torc of Power Preservation and Wisdom +6 and Health +4, Belt of Battle of Strength +6, +1 Splitting Force Composite Longbow, +5 Fullplate, Cloak of Resistance +5 and Charisma +4, Boots of Speed, 500 arrows with various +1 enhancements, Orange Ioun Stone, Wings of Flying, Circlet of Rapid Casting.

    Cranking arrow enhancements is pretty inexpensive at this level, keeping DPS respectably high. Ectopic ally solves all sorts of problems, Time Hop adds utility, Touchsight gives area awareness and Anticipatory Strike and Linked Power are almost cheating in terms of action economy.

    Last edited by eggs; 2012-09-20 at 12:32 PM.

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    Default Re: Straining Credulity: A Divine Mind Handbook

    I am thoroughly interested in the contents of this handbook.
    You may want to include powers/mantles in a spoiler, they take up ALOT of space.
    Last edited by Surzt and Gurzt; 2012-06-18 at 03:31 PM.

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    Default Re: Straining Credulity: A Divine Mind Handbook

    Quote Originally Posted by eggs View Post
    This is happening.
    You are a far braver man than I, sir. (or woman/madam.) *Salutes*

    (And yes, ectopic ally is the ****)


    EDIT: Another good race for you are Buommans from Planar Handbook. Medium, 0 LA, +2 Wis, -2 Cha. They have a vow of silence, which of course doesn't interfere with psionics in any way.
    Last edited by Psyren; 2012-06-18 at 03:26 PM.
    Alphonse Elric by Fay Graydon
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    First, please don't start threads with ideas you don't support just to see what reactions you get. That's almost the definition of trolling.

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

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    Default Re: Straining Credulity: A Divine Mind Handbook

    While this is a minor point, in your entry on Vanaras you may want to point out that they don't have the Wis bonus in 3.5, if you're using the Dragon Magazine update.
    Lord Raziere herd I like Blasphemy, so Urpriest Exalted as a Malefactor

    Meet My Monstrous Guide to Monsters. Everything you absolutely need to know about Monsters and never thought you needed to ask.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mithril Leaf View Post
    One of the unwritten rules of Giantitp is that Urpriest is always right.
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    original Urpriest (by Andraste)

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    Default Re: Straining Credulity: A Divine Mind Handbook

    Quote Originally Posted by Psyren View Post
    You are a far braver man than I, sir. (or woman/madam.) *Salutes*
    Until there's a handbook for everything, our work isn't done!
    Quote Originally Posted by Psyren View Post
    Another good race for you are Buommans from Planar Handbook. Medium, 0 LA, +2 Wis, -2 Cha. They have a vow of silence, which of course doesn't interfere with psionics in any way.
    Added!
    Quote Originally Posted by Urpriest View Post
    While this is a minor point, in your entry on Vanaras you may want to point out that they don't have the Wis bonus in 3.5, if you're using the Dragon Magazine update.
    Good catch. Also a drag, but I'll mention it. Thanks!
    Last edited by eggs; 2012-06-18 at 03:53 PM.

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    Default Re: Straining Credulity: A Divine Mind Handbook

    My I ask why Ghostbreaker isn't Blue ? A Divine Mind 15/Ghostbreaker 5 gets alot of great stuff without losing much.

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    Default Re: Straining Credulity: A Divine Mind Handbook

    Quote Originally Posted by Surzt and Gurzt View Post
    My I ask why Ghostbreaker isn't Blue ? A Divine Mind 15/Ghostbreaker 5 gets alot of great stuff without losing much.
    I was looking at in terms of lower-level advancement, when it'd be screwing with Ectopic Ally.

    But capping off a build, you're absolutely right - with an expected 4 encounters a day and the CPsi nerf, Divine Mind 16 wouldn't have much of anything left to gain from more DM levels, but it would get some nice abilities and a 4th attack from Ghostbreaker 4.

    EDIT:
    Actually, that raises a question I had when I was writing this: I know there aren't any first-party Epic Astral Constructs, but does anyone know of any level 10+ ACs that ever cropped up in Dragon or other well-done 3rd party sources?
    Last edited by eggs; 2012-06-18 at 04:14 PM.

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    Default Re: Straining Credulity: A Divine Mind Handbook

    Quote Originally Posted by eggs View Post
    Until there's a handbook for everything, our work isn't done!
    Hear, hear!

    Thank you for taking this up!

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    Default Re: Straining Credulity: A Divine Mind Handbook

    Personally, this is what I think handbooks and optimizers in general should be doing - taking classes nobody likes, and showing how to make them marginally acceptable. Great work!
    Quote Originally Posted by JaronK View Post
    Frankly, a Wizard can suck even more than a Fighter could ever dream of sucking. A Fighter can stab himself to death, but only a Wizard could Plane Shift to some horrible far realm to be tortured for an eternity of insanity.


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    Default Re: Straining Credulity: A Divine Mind Handbook

    I salute you for taking up this task!

    I'm definitely going to be keeping an eye on this.

    Just one concern - perhaps you've posted too much information about the Divine Mind's mantles/abilites? I wouldn't want to see this taken down.

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    Default Re: Straining Credulity: A Divine Mind Handbook

    Classy. Handbooking is hard work, so kudos. I'll be watching this with some interest.
    In the Beginning Was the Word, and the Word Was Suck: A Guide to Truenamers ALL HAIL KING TORG!

    Quote Originally Posted by Doc Roc View Post
    Gentlefolk, learn from Zaq's example, and his suffering. Remember, seven out of eleven players who use truenamer lose their ability to taste ice cream.
    Do you play 4e? I wrote a guide to Truenamers in 4e as well!
    Here's something I homebrewed. (It's not Truenamer-related, honest.) PEACH!

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    Default Re: Straining Credulity: A Divine Mind Handbook

    Thanks!
    Quote Originally Posted by Kuulvheysoon View Post
    Just one concern - perhaps you've posted too much information about the Divine Mind's mantles/abilites? I wouldn't want to see this taken down.
    I hope not; addressing build options on a unit-by-unit basis was one of the major features I found useful in LogicNinja's wizard handbook and Dictum Mortuum's guides, and was one of the major goals I had with this.

    I don't think the specificity should be an issue - I haven't provided enough information to use the Divine Mind content without referencing CPsi, the lists of abilities are greatly modified from their original presentations and all the ability and power rundowns are more focused on which powers and abilities are worth using than they are on how the powers are used.

    But if any mods tracking this still think it's a problem, please PM me - I'd be willing to make the information a bit murkier if the alternative is a thread wipe.

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    Default Re: Straining Credulity: A Divine Mind Handbook

    Quote Originally Posted by Flickerdart View Post
    Personally, this is what I think handbooks and optimizers in general should be doing - taking classes nobody likes, and showing how to make them marginally acceptable. Great work!
    I agree, but see that as a tertiary job. Their primary job is taking difficult or new classes (not many of those left outside PF, but still) and breaking them/their options down into layman's terms.

    The secondary job is taking older handbooks and dusting them off, adding in the newer options from subsequently-printed splats.

    Having said that, A Divine Mind handbook was long overdue. (As I said in my Psyrogue handbook though, I didn't have the stomach for such an undertaking myself.)
    Alphonse Elric by Fay Graydon
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    First, please don't start threads with ideas you don't support just to see what reactions you get. That's almost the definition of trolling.

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

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