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    Default Psi Choice Ardent or Wilder

    I am exploring a few PSI options, can someone sort of expand on what these two base classes can do?

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    Default Re: Psi Choice Ardent or Wilder

    Wilder: Manifest a handful of powers well. Typically generates huge effects from whatever it manifests - whether it's astral construct creation, damage or debuffs, but absolutely locked into its select handful of tricks. Every Wilder build benefits from the Educated ACF, and almost every wilder ends up taking Psychic Reformation as soon as possible, just to pull out a few new tricks when it needs to. Usually requires either the Quick Recovery feat and Will-boosters or the Mark of the Dauntless feat to Surge without risking its own action economy.

    Ardent: Its main schtick was probably supposed to be access to a flexible hodgepodge of powers from psychic warrior and various psion specializations, but its ML-based powers known mechanic leaves it very generous with multiclassing and gish builds (with Practiced Manifester, Anything 7/Ardent 13 can still learn a level 9 power), and the Dominant Ideal ACF turns 10 levels of ardent into the basis of metapsionic-abusing cheese (when Metapower and Linked Power are thrown into the mix, things get really interesting). It's also pretty notable for the headache involved in selecting powers through its Mantle and primary mantle mechanics, but the custom mantle ACF in the previous link makes that less bad.

    Ardent's usually the more interesting for powergaming purposes because unlike the Wilder, it has some unique tricks that just aren't available to the Psion. Plus, it's about as close to a Psionic Ur-Priest/Sublime Chord as there is (though its power list is pretty limited without generous treatment of the custom mantle thing).

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    Default Re: Psi Choice Ardent or Wilder

    Wilder is a badly made class that has too few powers known to do pretty much anything and was completely made obsolete by a prestige class in Complete Psionics called Anarchaic Initiate.

    Ardent is like the psion, but gets slightly higher bab, hp, etc. and gets about 2/3rd of the powers known. Ardents main benefit is the Dominant Ideal ACF mentioned above that makes them super fun blasters. Ardents also have a really weird power learning mechanic, which takes lots of planning and careful preparation to use properly over multiple levels.

    ~

    Ardents are worth taking levels in instead of Psion if you:

    1. have been taking levels in other classes and want to get higher level powers known faster. When an Ardent take Practiced Manifester and has been multiclassing for a few levels, they can learn powers at a jump started rate compared to psions.

    2. want to be using wisdom instead of intelligence. (i.e. gestalting)

    3. really like blasting things and think it would be fun to go around stacking metapsionics on the same power through the use of Dominant Ideal.

    4. have a love affair with Linked Power. I have a love affair with Linked Power.
    Last edited by HunterOfJello; 2012-10-25 at 08:16 PM.

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    Default Re: Psi Choice Ardent or Wilder

    Quote Originally Posted by HunterOfJello View Post
    Ardents are worth taking levels in instead of Psion if you:

    1. have been taking levels in other classes and want to get higher level powers known faster. When an Ardent take Practiced Manifester and has been multiclassing for a few levels, they can learn powers at a jump started rate compared to psions.

    2. want to be using wisdom instead of intelligence. (i.e. gestalting)
    I would note that these conditions also apply, if you are going down the dual-progression prestige class route. E.g. 4 Ardent / 1 Warblade / 2 Ur-Priest / 10 Psychic Theurge would give you level 9 Spells and Powers. (The 1 Warblade is there to pump Fort save for Ur-Priest qualification, and also qualifies you to pick up Diamond Mind-over-body and Iron Heart Surge maneuvers, either from gear or feats).
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    Default Re: Psi Choice Ardent or Wilder

    Well one thing that brought my attention to ardents was that someone mentioned they could be a tank?

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    Default Re: Psi Choice Ardent or Wilder

    That's where the adaptability to lost manifesting levels help a lot.

    Something like Ardent 4/Crusader 1/Ardent 2/Crusader 1/Ardent 2/Crusader 1... with Practiced Spellcaster would hit level 20 with 9th level powers and 7th level maneuvers.

    Or it could just take the role within the class - 15 BA isn't a problem with Metamorphosis access, and d6 HD are fine, when considering advantages like the Share Pain+Vigor+psicrystal combo.

    Or it could even dip Monk or Psychic Warrior 2 for feats and starting investments in a combat style; with Practiced Manifester, it would still hit Metamorphosis at ECL 7.

    Or it could use some of the psionic gish-like classes like Slayer, Sanctified Mind or Iron Mind without paying too much attention to the occasional lost ML.

    ...The point is that Practiced Manifester+the Ardent's Powers Known mechanic give it a lot of flexibility to build around without crippling its spellcasting in the same way that something like a Cleric that wants to put a long dip into Fighter for the full Dungeoncrasher 6 ability would. PP can get tight enough that fully-augmented offensive manifesting might be relegated to the occasional nova, but things like an ECL 11 Ardent with Incarnate 4's Chakra Binds and access to Temporal Acceleration is still easily possible.
    Last edited by eggs; 2012-10-25 at 09:33 PM.

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    Default Re: Psi Choice Ardent or Wilder

    The biggest part of playing an Ardent is to take a look at the powers available in their mantles. Write down a list of all of the powers you would like for your build. Then look at the mantles and see how many match up. Mind's Eye has a rule that allows you to swap out some maneuvers for others as long as they are aligned with the mantle, but if you want too many different powers from too many different mantles, or you want too many powers that aren't on any of the mantles, you might want to look at Wilder instead, or possibly something like a Psion/Martialsomething/Slayer.
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    Default Re: Psi Choice Ardent or Wilder

    Hmm is this the type of class, that am going to have to roll up my sleeves and learn rules am not use to , to get average usage from?
    Last edited by silverwolfer; 2012-10-25 at 10:35 PM.

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    Default Re: Psi Choice Ardent or Wilder

    Ardent every day of the week. But that's just me. All of my builds are always complicated mish-moshes of PrC's, Dips, and other silly things. Ardent helps out with that by increasing the level of power known simply by Manifester Level. Which you can increase with Practiced Manifester.
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    "No, this is honorable single combat! Go away! Shoo!"
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    Default Re: Psi Choice Ardent or Wilder

    @Zomb

    Being new to the class, will I need to bring a mile long cheat sheet of rules and things to know, or can I go into the class raw and learn as I go without being underpowered and useless.

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    Default Re: Psi Choice Ardent or Wilder

    If you know how psionics work, Ardent's not complicated to learn - its basic mechanics are just like most psionic classes (except it can learn any power that it's capable of manifesting, instead of following a level progression).

    The complicated part is putting that learning into action while picking a powers known progression. It's easy to start banging your head against a wall when you recognize that one of your Ardent's precious powers known is going to need to go to something stupid like Sustenance, when you really want something useful like Freedom of Movement.
    Last edited by eggs; 2012-10-25 at 10:46 PM.

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    Default Re: Psi Choice Ardent or Wilder

    Imagine a cleric with domains. Instead of learning ALL spells, they can only learn spells from their domains. But they aren't limited to just 2 domains, they get another one at 2, and a 3rd at 5, and a 4th at 10, and I think a 5th at 15. Each domain (called mantles) has 6-10 powers in it, and a granted ability. At 1st level, you get 2 powers known. At each level above 1st, you get one additional power known. Thusly, you end up with 21 powers known (1 more than a wilder) from a MUCH smaller list, but you get a handful of cute powers that generally require you to expend your psionic focus.

    Oh, and due to some rather wonky wording, the max level of powers known they can learn is based on their ML, rather than their actual level. Thus, if you take Practiced Manifester, you can lose 4 actual levels in ardent (or +1 manifester PrCs) and still be right on track to learn powers at their normal levels. Or you can lose up to 7 levels and still reach the lofty realm of 9th level powers by ECL20 (but you'll only know 1 9th level power).

    And thats...pretty much it. Not much to learn, but you might want to pick up a copy of Complete Psionic to review the various mantles and figure out what powers are in which mantle and which ones you want to use.
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    Default Re: Psi Choice Ardent or Wilder

    Hmm sounds like a dumb downed Cleric, dare I ask if all you use is the first power, should I look into a multi class build?

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    Default Re: Psi Choice Ardent or Wilder

    Quote Originally Posted by silverwolfer View Post
    @Zomb

    Being new to the class, will I need to bring a mile long cheat sheet of rules and things to know, or can I go into the class raw and learn as I go without being underpowered and useless.
    It is probably the easiest psionics class to jump into. All of your powers are picked for you!
    Last edited by Zombulian; 2012-10-25 at 11:29 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Urpriest View Post
    Anyway, regarding Scion of Tem-Et-Nu, I'm just imagining a warrior trying to engage in single combat with a hippo, and another hippo waddles over:

    "No, this is honorable single combat! Go away! Shoo!"
    I love Jade_Tarem

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    Default Re: Psi Choice Ardent or Wilder

    Quote Originally Posted by Wild Surge
    In all cases, the wild surge effectively pays the extra power point cost that is normally required to augment the power; only the unaugmented power point cost is subtracted from the wilder’s power point reserve.
    A Wilder gets to augment all of his powers for free when he uses Wild Surge. That means his 20d6 Energy Ray only costs him 1 pp. His augmentation is still limited by his manifester level, he just doesn't have to pay those extra powerpoints.

    The feat Quick Recovery in Lords of Madness turns that one-round Daze from Psychic Enervation into a wasted move action, so you're still going to be able to manifest a power every round even if it happens.

    Any character can get Wild Surge with a few levels of Anarchic Initiate, so this trick is not exclusive to Wilders. Note that a non-Wilder can take Overchannel to qualify for Anarchic Initiate, and once he's gained Wild Surge from it use a Psychic Reformation to switch Overchannel for a different feat. You can gain Psychic Reformation at a level-up, manifest it, and gain a different power in its place for that level in addition to repicking other feats, skills, and powers.

    Ardent is extremely weak without the Substitute Powers option, due to how limited their power selection is. With that it's probably just as good as Psion, and even better if you multiclass.

    It's extremely easy to be a psionic tank with just about any manifesting class, Psion included. Get a Psicrystal, use Share Pain on it every day, and you take half damage from all sources. The psicrystal's Hardness 8 will reduce every instance of damage to it by that much so it only takes damage if you get hit for 18 or more in a single hit. You can share buffs you manifest on yourself with it, so a Vigor will give both you and the psicrystal +5 HP per one powerpoint, for a nice cushion to absorb damage. With Wild Surge that's only 1 pp to get 5*ML temporary HP on both you and your psicrystal.

    Psionics don't suffer arcane spell failure, so heavy armor won't restrict you at all apart from nonproficiency and mobility. It's fairly standard to use Warforged with Adamantine Body for a tanky character who wouldn't otherwise be proficient in heavy armor and doesn't suffer any serious drawbacks for it. Elan is another strong choice for their Resilience ability, and the feat Improved Elan Resilience doubles its effectiveness.
    Last edited by Biffoniacus_Furiou; 2012-10-25 at 11:46 PM.

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    Default Re: Psi Choice Ardent or Wilder

    Quote Originally Posted by Biffoniacus_Furiou View Post
    A Wilder gets to augment all of his powers for free when he uses Wild Surge. That means his 20d6 Energy Ray only costs him 1 pp. His augmentation is still limited by his manifester level, he just doesn't have to pay those extra powerpoints.
    Thats...thats just no. I know what the rules say. Good luck floating that one by a DM. Clearly, the PP supplied by the Wild Surge are the PP they are referring to in that text, not ALL of the PP for the augment.

    Why would you even suggest that?
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    Default Re: Psi Choice Ardent or Wilder

    Quote Originally Posted by Keld Denar View Post
    Thats...thats just no. I know what the rules say. Good luck floating that one by a DM. Clearly, the PP supplied by the Wild Surge are the PP they are referring to in that text, not ALL of the PP for the augment.

    Why would you even suggest that?
    "...only the unaugmented power point cost is subtracted from the wilder’s power point reserve."

    While it is a very liberal reading of the rules, it happens to be a very poorly worded closing to a class feature, which is the part of it that someone will typically remember.
    Last edited by Biffoniacus_Furiou; 2012-10-25 at 11:51 PM.

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    Default Re: Psi Choice Ardent or Wilder

    I know it's a bogus interpretation, YOU know it's a bogus interpretation...

    Why would you tell someone else to play that way? Just curious?
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    Default Re: Psi Choice Ardent or Wilder

    Hmm, well if I want to go with a non cheesy **that is what worries me is cheese**, healer with some combat


    Would I be looking at life mantle + fire mantle?

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    Default Re: Psi Choice Ardent or Wilder

    If the Wilder can get the Mark of Dauntless or even Quick Recovery I would choose that.

    For example; 7th level Astral Construct at level 11.
    Last edited by Tvtyrant; 2012-10-26 at 07:25 PM.

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    Default Re: Psi Choice Ardent or Wilder

    @ Wild Surge - the part you don't pay is equal to the value of the Wild Surge, not the whole thing. So if you have a +6 surge and want a 20d6 energy ray, you're paying 14 for it, not 1. This also means that you can fire off a 20d6 energy ray at level 14, before items and feats.

    As for Wilder vs. Ardent, I think Wilders get an undeservedly bad rap. Yes, 11 PK is very small, but Educated helps with that, and while Anarchic Initiate is indeed a thing it also (a) restricts your concept (not only must you be chaotic, your life practically revolves around chaos), and (b) AIs can't surge as high as straight Wilders. If you're okay with a mere +2 surge, you can still go Wilder and PrC into something else, like Soul Manifester.

    If you want a really fun Wilder though, you can always port the PF Wilder backwards into 3.5. Student, Warrior and Artificer are all solid archetypes to play.
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    Default Re: Psi Choice Ardent or Wilder

    Here's a relevant question. What race do you plan on being? Because the Shifter - Wilder Substitution levels are Pure gold baby.
    Quote Originally Posted by Urpriest View Post
    Anyway, regarding Scion of Tem-Et-Nu, I'm just imagining a warrior trying to engage in single combat with a hippo, and another hippo waddles over:

    "No, this is honorable single combat! Go away! Shoo!"
    I love Jade_Tarem

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    Default Re: Psi Choice Ardent or Wilder

    Well it is a forgotten realms campaign ( so no eberron)

    Was thinking ghost wise halfing or such as it is a evil group, but the more I look at adrent and wilder, the more I learn towards psychic warrior being my first psi class to try out.

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    Default Re: Psi Choice Ardent or Wilder

    Quote Originally Posted by Zombulian View Post
    Here's a relevant question. What race do you plan on being? Because the Shifter - Wilder Substitution levels are Pure gold baby.
    They're indeed awesome, but the shifter itself unfortunately has a Cha penalty, so it evens out somewhat (except in high PB.)
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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: Psi Choice Ardent or Wilder

    Quote Originally Posted by Psyren View Post
    They're indeed awesome, but the shifter itself unfortunately has a Cha penalty, so it evens out somewhat (except in high PB.)
    Eh, Magic Blooded template'l switch the Cha penalty to Wis. Quick fixes brought to you by Dragon Magazine!
    Quote Originally Posted by Urpriest View Post
    Anyway, regarding Scion of Tem-Et-Nu, I'm just imagining a warrior trying to engage in single combat with a hippo, and another hippo waddles over:

    "No, this is honorable single combat! Go away! Shoo!"
    I love Jade_Tarem

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