Class: Psionicist

When second edition was published, TSR felt that the psionics in first edition were too powerful, and removed them from the game; then they changed their minds and released materials for a new approach to psionics.  Although the use of psionics under second edition rules is entirely different from that in first edition, the psionicist class is not incompatible with first edition rules, and is included as a permitted class in the MyWorld campaign.  Referees who do not have access to the second edition psionics material will not want to allow players to use this class.  The class can be run without reference to other second edition rules books, provided the first edition materials are available.

Psionics are distinct from magic in the theory of how they work.  Whereas magic comes from another realm--a supernatural world of positive and negative material, deities and demigods, and elemental powers--psionics come from the mind of the individual himself.

The character must have a Wisdom of 15, Intelligence of 12, and Constitution of 11.  Wisdom and Constitution are the prime requisites.  They may not be chaotic, as the class requires tremendous discipline.  If for any reason he becomes chaotic, he is in danger of losing all psionic ability.

For the psionicist, psionics are divided into six disciplines.  The character will specialize in one of these disciplines, but will learn sciences and devotions from any or all of them, although he will start limited to his one discipline and always have more skills in that area than any other.  The six disciplines are Clairsentiences (perceiving beyond normal human senses), Psychokinetics (moving objects through space without contact), Psychometabolics (directly affecting the body), Psychoportives (causing things to move between two points without passing through space), Telepathics (contacting another mind directly), and Metapsionics (boosting other psionic powers).  The character cannot specialize in Metapsionics, but must choose one of the other five areas.

The psionicist has a limited number of strength points, initially based on wisdom, intelligence, and constitution, and increasing with each level.  These points are spent on the skills used, and regained by rest.

 The skills are divided into sciences, devotions, and defense modes.  The character begins with one science and three devotions, all from the discipline in which he is specialized, and also has a single defense mode.  By level twenty he has ten sciences and twenty-five devotions which may be drawn from all six disciplines, and will have all five defenses.  The psionicist may choose the skills he will learn, but has a few limitations.  These include 1) that he must always have more sciences and devotions in his primary discipline--the first one he chooses--than in any other; 2) that he must always know twice as many devotions as sciences in any discipline area; and 3) that certain specific skills must be learned as prerequisites to other specific skills.

Level
Disciplines
Sciences
Devotions
Defenses
1
1
1
3
1
2
2
1
5
1
3
2
2
7
2
4
2
2
9
2
5
2
3
10
3
6
3
3
11
3
7
3
4
12
4
8
3
4
13
4
9
3
5
14
5
10
4
5
15
5
11
4
6
16
5
12
4
6
17
5
13
4
7
18
5
14
5
7
19
5
15
5
8
20
5
16
5
8
21
5
17
5
9
22
5
18
6
9
23
5
19
6
10
24
5
20
6
10
25
5
 

The use of a psionic skill requires the roll of a d20 against a "power score".  This score is one of the three requisites of the class (Constitution, Wisdom, or Intelligence) deemed relevant to that particular skill, usually modified by a fixed number.  There may be special results for rolling a one, a twenty, or the highest number which would be success.

Under the psionicist rules, the character may receive special experience point awards for using his psionic power to overcome an enemy or problem or to avoid a combat situation; or for the defeat of a psionic opponent; or for creating a psionic item.

Advancement requires training with a mentor until the character reaches level 7; thereafter, they are self-trained.  Under MyWorld rules, self-trained characters pay half of normal training costs.

Psionicists attack as thieves.  They have their own unique table for saving throws.  They tend to avoid weapons, and so have a short list from which to choose, generally being permitted to use small and medium sized weapons of not more than six pounds (60w) in weight.  They may wear leather, studded leather, padded, or hide armor, and may carry a small shield.  The use of metal armor, while not forbidden, will directly penalize the chance of success on all psionic skills.

They begin with two weapon and three non-weapon proficiency slots, and gain another weapon at levels 5, 10, 15, and 20, and another non-weapon at levels 3, 6, 9, 12, 15, and 18.  There is a -4 penalty for using a weapon with which the character is not proficient.  There are a few non-weapon proficiencies which are specifically for this character class, or for which this class has special interest or ability.  They include Gem Cutting, Harness Subconscious, Hypnosis, Rejuvenation, Meditative Focus, Musical Instrument, Reading/Writing, and Religion.

Advancement table:

Level
From
To
1
0
2199
2
2200
4399
3
4400
8799
4
8800
16499
5
16500
29999
6
30000
54999
7
55000
99999
8
100000
199999
9
200000
399999
10
400000
599999
11
600000
799999
12
800000
999999
13
1000000
1199999
14
1200000
1499999
15
1500000
1799999
16
1800000
2099999
17
2100000
2399999
18
2400000
2699999
19
2700000
2999999
20
3000000
Over
 

The rules are unclear concerning advancement beyond the twentieth level.  MyWorld assumes that such advancement is possible for 300,000 xp per level, and that the character will continue to improve existing abilities and hit points, but will not gain any additional psionic powers.

Humans, Halflings (10), Gnomes (9), Dwarfs (8), Half-elves (7), and Elves (7) may be psionicists.

 


Skills & Powers Psionicist

This article originally appeared as part of the Sage Advice column in Dragon Magazine #231, by Skip Williams.

Here's an unofficial method for building psionicists with character points, largely based on some excellent suggestions from reader Emery Wilson:

A psionicist receives 35 character points to spend on class abilities. Abilities cost 5-15 points. Any unspent points can be saved to buy proficiencies or saved for use in the game.

All psionicists use the saving throw and MTHAC0 tables on page 149 of the Skills & Powers book.

Psionicists use the THAC0 table on page 149 of the Skills & Powers book unless they purchase better combat abilities during character creation.

All psionicists use the experience level table on page 154 of the Skills & Powers book.

Psionicists use the Psionic Progression table on page 154 Skills & Powers book unless they purchase better psychic abilities during character creation.

Psionicist roll six-sided dice to determine hit points unless they purchase larger hit dice.

Unless stated otherwise, a character can take each ability only once and only when the character is first created.

Armor Use (5/10): The psionicist can employ small shields and padded, leather, studded leather, or hide armor. As a 10-point ability the psionicist can use small or medium shields, any of the armor types listed above, plus brigandine, chain mail, ring mail, scale mail, or metal lamellar armor. If the psionicist does not take this ability, he can wear no armor and cannot employ shields.

Attack Mode of Choice (10): The psionicist develops extra skill in using one particular psionic attack mode and gains a +1 bonus to mental attack rolls when using that attack mode. This ability is useless without the contact ability.

Combat Bonus (10): The psionicist uses the priest THAC0 chart.

Contact (5/10): The psionicist receives the contact proficiency and gains attack modes as shown on the Psionic Progression table in the Skills & Powers book. As a 10-point ability, the psionicist receives extra attack modes as though he were two levels higher than his actual level. For example, a 1st-level psionicist would receives two attack modes. The character can never have more than five attack modes. If the psionicist does not take this power, he can purchase the contact proficiency any time he has five character points available.

Followers (5/10): The psionicist become a contemplative master at 9th level. A 1st-level psionicist arrives each month to study with the master. Students serve without pay if they receive at least 10 hours of training each week (they leave to seek new masters if they do not receive sufficient training). The maximum number of students the master attracts is equal to one half the masters Charisma score, rounded down. If the master builds a sanctuary, he can attract a number of students equal to his Charisma score. As a 10-point ability, the psionicist becomes a renowned teacher and can attract students at any level, subject to the limits noted above. If the psionicist does not choose this ability, he never attracts followers, but can hire servants and henchmen for pay just as any other character can.

Guarded Mind (5/10): The psionicist can block or resist attempts to usurp his will and gains a +1 bonus to all saving throws against spells from the enchantment/charm school. As a 10-point ability, the psionicist gains a +2 bonus to all saving throws against spells from the enchantment/charm school.

Hit Point Bonus (10): Psionicists with this ability roll eight-sided dice for hit points rather than six-sided dice. The psionicist still gains only two extra hit points per level at 10th level and beyond.

Mental Defense (5/10): The psionicist can close his mind to psychic contact and gains defense modes as shown on the Psionic progression table in the Skills & Powers book. As a 10-point ability, the psionicist receives extra defense modes as though he was two levels higher than his actual level. For example, a 1st-level psionicist receives two defense modes. The character can never have more than five defense modes. If the psionicist does not take this power, he has an open mind, just as if he were a non-psionic character. If the psionicist does not choose this ability at the beginning of play, he can purchase the five-point version whenever he has five character points to spend. The 10-point version is available only at the beginning of play. The character gains the mental armor proficiency for free with the purchase of this ability.

Penetrating Mind (10): The psionicist can penetrate physical barriers with his mind more readily than other psionicists can. It takes two inches of lead or iron, four inches of obsidian, or two feet of rock to block the psionicists clairsentient and telepathic powers. Note that most psionic powers require line of sight; this ability does not negate a blocked line of sight (see Skills & Powers, page 150). This ability has no effect on psionic combat and does not allow the psionicist to ignore magical or psychic barriers that block psionic powers.

PSP bonus (10): The psionicist has a potent mind and rolls eight-sided dice for psionic strength points instead of six-sided dice. The psionicist still gains only three extra PSPs plus his Wisdom bonus per level at 10th level and beyond.

Psychic Adept (10): The psionicist receives extra powers according to the table below instead of the Psionic Progression table in the Skills & Powers book. The two disciplines the psionicist chooses at first level count as primary disciplines (see Skills & Powers, page 154).

Psychic Adept Power Progression

Exp.   Total        Total     Total
Level  Disciplines  Sciences  Devotions

1      2            2          4
2      3            2          6
3      3            3          8
4      3            3          10
5      3            4          11
6      4            4          12
7      4            5          13
8      4            5          14
9      4            6          15
10     5            6          16
11     5            7          17
12     5            7          18
13     5            8          19
14     5            8          20
15     5            9          21
16     5            9          22
17     5            10         23
18     5            10         24
19     5            11         25
20     5            11         26

Range Boost (5/10): The ranges of all powers within the psionicists primary discipline increase by 25%. If the psionicist is a psychic adept, he has two primary disciplines. At base cost (5), the ranges of only one disciplines powers increase. For a cost of 10 character points, the ranges of powers for both disciplines increase. All powers with ranges of 0, self, or touch remain unaffected by this ability.

Warrior Hit Point Bonus (5): The psionicist gains bonus hit points from a high Constitution score as if he were a warrior. Weapon Specialization (15): The psionicist can specialize in the use of a particular weapon. This ability is useless unless the character also chooses the weapon use ability (below), even if the psionicist specializes in a martial art or nonlethal combat. The character-point cost for gaining proficiency and specialization in the weapon must be met when the character chooses weapon proficiencies.

Weapon Use (5/10): The psionicist can employ the following small weapons: hand crossbow, dagger, dart, dirk, knife, scourge, sickle, and short sword. As a 10-point ability the psionicist can use any of the weapons above, plus the following slightly larger weapons: short bow, club, light crossbow, hand/throwing axe, javelin, quarterstaff, sling, spear, and war club. If the psionicist does not take this ability, he can employ no weapons at all, relying instead on his mental powers in combat.

Psionics and subabilities: If the rules for subabilities are in play, then Constitution/Fitness, Intelligence/Reason, and Wisdom/Intuition determine a psionicists PSP total. Wild talent checks use the same set of scores.

Wisdom/Willpower determines a characters base MAC, and Intelligence/ Reason determines a characters MAC modifier.

Buying Wild Talents: A character can purchase a wild talent as a trait for 9 character points. The character need not make a wild talent check, but must roll randomly to determine what the wild talent is (see Skills & Powers, page 156). Note that a character could make a normal wild talent check and use a character point to reroll if the check fails.

Weapon Proficiencies: Once the psionicist has purchased class abilities he receives 6 character points for weapon proficiencies. The psionicist can spend these points as designated in Table 1.

Nonweapon proficiencies: Once the psionicist has purchased class abilities and weapon proficiencies he receives 6 character points for nonweapon proficiencies. The psionicist can choose proficiencies from the general and psionicist groups. Refer to the Skills & Powers book, Chapter 6, and to the table below.

Additional psionicist nonweapon proficiencies

 

Proficiency            Cost*    Initial Rating    Relevant Ability

Contact**                5            N/A               Wisdom/Intuition
Mental Armor**        3            N/A               Wisdom/Willpower

Psionicist Group
Gem Cutting             3             6                  Dexterity/Aim
Harness 
Subconscious**         6             7                 Wisdom/Willpower
Meditative Focus**     5             8                 Wisdom/Intuition
Musical Instrument     2             7                 Charisma/Leadership
Reading/Writing         2             8                 Intelligence/Knowledge
Rejuvenation**         3             6                 Wisdom/Willpower

* Cost in character points
** Proficiency described in Chapter 9 of the Skills & Powers book


The AD&D Psionics Guidlines


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