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THE NEW PSIONIC SYSTEM
FOR 2nd ED

 

  Psionics are an important part of AD&D, mind flayers being a prime villain in many adventures, and in Dark Sun, every creature has psionic ability! But the current rules are too cumbersome, here is a simpler version that only requires the Player's Handbook!

To download this information in .doc form, use this link: PSIONICS.DOC

THE PSIONICIST
A psionicist has the hit point and THAC0 tables of a Thief, but uses the saving throw, experience point/level and proficiency tables of a wizard. Psionicists get a +2 save vs. Enchantment/Charm spell or anything that affects the mind, and a +4 save vs. psionics. To be a psionicist a character must have an Intelligence and Wisdom score of 14 or more. They may use any one handed weapon, and light crossbows and staffs as well as bucklers and small shields. For armour they may wear up to studded leather, or elven chain mail, or a plate breast plate and back (AC 6), but they may not wear helmets (but circlets and such adorments are allowed). Psionicists have three grades of power, (which are based on their level) that allow access to more potent abilities as they increase in levels--Initiate: Levels 1-6 Adept: Levels 7-12 Master: Level 13+ (See the tables below, these show what powers are available at each grade).
A psionicist has 3 PSPs per level (Psionic Strength Points), plus 1 PSP per point of Wisdom and Intelligence over 14, so a 1st level psionicist with 18 Wisdom and 17 Intelligence would have 10 PSPs, and a 10th-level psionicist with 16 Wisdom and Intelligence has 34 PSPs. These PSPs are used to create his powers.
WILD TALENTS

  Wild talents are people or creatures who have been born with, or gained, a small measure of psionic ability. Wild Talents have 1 PSP per level plus 1 per point of Wisdom and Intelligence over 14, but do not get extra attacks at high level, and can only gain new abilities at the DM's discretion. Wild talents roll d20 for determining starting psionic powers: 1-9 one initiate ability; 11-16 two initiate abilities; 17-19 three abilities (1 adept, 2 initiate); 20 four abilities (2 adept, 2 initiate)

PSIONIC CREATURES

  The DM will have to decide whether a creature has the mental strength of a psionicist (like a mind flayer), or weaker powers equivalent to a Wild Talent (such as most Githyanki), and give them appropriate powers, generally at the same level as their Hit Dice. Note that many creatures are rated as having a certain level equal to a psionicst, mind flayers are, for example, stated as being the equivalent to a 10th level psioncist, and so they should be given the appropriate PSPs and powers.

Mind flayer: PSPs=38 (10x3 for level, +8 for 18 Int and Wis), 1d4+14 powers (plus several extra if the DM wishes, check the Monstrous Manual for a typical list), primary discipline=Telepathy.

POWER LEVELS AND PSP COST
  Powers are split into three levels: Initiate, Adept and Master.
Initiate powers cost 1 PSPs to use, Adept powers cost 2 PSPs, Master powers cost 3 PSPs.
REGAINING PSPs

  PSPs are regained by a night's sleep or by using the Meditation proficiency (ie no activity at all and concentration). Less rest means less PSPs restored, generally, 1 hour's sleep/meditation restores 1/8th of the character's PSPs.

USING PSIONIC POWERS
To use a psionic power, a psionicist must make either a Wisdom check or an Intelligence check, which ever is higher. Wild talents must make a successful Intelligence AND a Wisdom check, a 20 is always a fail. If the power fails, the PSPs are lost.
GAINING PSIONIC POWERS

  When a psionicist is created, he knows 1d4+4 Initiate powers, and he choses one of the 5 main disciplines (Clairsentience, Psychokinetics, Psychometabolism, Psychoportation and Telepathy) as his primary discipline (his favourite). At each level the character gets a random roll for a new power that the character is allowed access to (1st level PC can only get Initiate powers, 7th from Initiate and Adept and a Master from all three), however, he gets two rolls if he decides to take a power ONLY from his primary discipline (ie he gets 2 powers instead of the usual one). Characters may also research new abilities just like a wizard researching spells (see DMG for details, but a psionicist requires no money, just solitude), but they may choose to research powers from the tables below. Another way is to spend proficiency slots, a proficiency slot will "buy" an ability, up to the level of power the PC is allowed to use. Psionicists may 'swap' the knowledge of their powers with one another, but one of the characters MUST have Sending to allow communication and few folk WILLINGY let others into their minds EVEN FRIENDS! (i.e. other PCs), and it takes one month of study to do this and a Wisdom and Intelligence check must be made!

THE 5 MAIN PSIONIC DISCIPLINES

  Are as follows: Clairsentience (dealing with knowledge and investigation); Psychokinesis (manipulating the physical world); Psychometabolism (affecting creatures' bodies); Psychoportation (dealing with movement) and Telepathy (affecting creatures' minds). When a psionicist character is created, he choses one of these as his primary discipline (his favourite), when he goes up a level, he gets two rolls if he decides to take a power from his primary discipline, (i.e. 2 powers instead of the usual one).

PSIONIC ATTACK MODES

  Are special powers, that can be learned just like the others. However, these are the primary weapons of a psionicist; just like a warrior, a psionicist can make more attacks with these powers each round if they are high level. 1st-6th level: 2/1 7th-12th: 3/1 13--18th: 4/1 19--24th: 5/1

Note that attack modes cost the listed PSP amount for EACH attack made with them in a round! AND ONLY A PSIONICIST GETS MORE THAN ONE ATTACK PER ROUND! Wild talents only get 1 attack per round!

Psionic attack modes are also special in that they can damage a psionic creature's number of PSPs, if they fail appropriate saving throws. Psionic creatures that have any PSPs remaining CANNOT be affected by most forms of Telepathic abilities, except the PSP damage inflicted by failed saves vs. attack modes. The exception to this are powers that affect the character himself , obviously. For example, a psionicist wants to use Charm Person on a character who's a wild talent with 5 PSPs, the psionicist first uses, for example, Id Insinuation on round 1, this inflicts 8 PSP damage, the wild talent now has no PSPs left, his mind is 'open' and can be attacked by Charm Person on the next and following rounds.
  A psionicist can SPECIALIZE with attack modes just as a warrior can, by spending 2 proficiency slots on a SPECIFIC form of attack mode, ie Psionic Blast, the psionicist's number of attacks each round increases! 1--6th level: 3/1 attacks a round; 7--12th level: 4/1 attacks a round; 13-18th level: 5/1 attacks/round; 19--24th: 6 attacks/round.
   Subtle attacks: A psionic creature can attack try to attack victims without their knowing it, if the victim fails a save vs. spells adjusted by Wisdom, he does not know he's been attacked. However, NO special damage, beyond reducing PSPs, is inflicted, as the psionicist is merely 'burrowing' into their mind to attack later.

The 5 Attack Modes

Note that the duration of effects is cumulative, where appropriate.

MIND THRUST (Initiate) Cost: 1 PSP Range: 90 yards. Victim must save vs. spells (adjusted by Wisdom) or loses the use of 1 random ability (a language other than its native tongue, proficiency, a specific psionic ability, weapon skill, a specific spell, breath weapon etc) for 1d6 days, but not basic or movement abilities (a goblin could forget how to us a spear, but not how to speak or move). Against a psionic creature, a failed save inflicts 1d4 PSP damage. The power causes the victim to forget things.
EGO WHIP (Initiate) Cost: 1 PSP Range: 120 yards Victim must save vs. spells (adjusted by Wisdom) or have ALL rolls penalized by -5 for 1d4 rounds, victim can't use any spell above 3rd level or an Adept or Master psionic power. Against a psionic creature a failed save inflicts 2d4 PSP damage. The victim feels pathetic and worthless.
ID INSINUATION (Adept) Cost: 2 PSPS Range: 180 yards Victim must save vs. Spell adjusted by Wisdom or be stunned for 1d4 rounds. Against a psionic creature it inflicts 3d4 PSP damage if the save is failed. This power causes the victim's baser self to emerge, overwhelmed with desires to eat, kill and breed, it takes a while for him to regain control.
of that round. Inflicts 4d4 PSP damage on a psionic creature that fails its save. Causes victim's nervous system to fire uncontrollably, causing vicious spasms, they also can't think.
PSYCHIC CRUSH (Master) Cost: 3 PSPs Range: 50 yards Victim must save vs. Paralyzation or take 2d8 hp and be paralyzed for the rest
PSIONIC BLAST (Master) Cost: 3 PSPs Range: 60 yards. Victim must save vs. Spells (adjusted by Wisdom) or lose half their current hit points, except for victims with only 20 or fewer hit point, if they fail they are automatically reduced to 0 hp. This loss is purely stun damage and will be recovered in one turn. However, a victim reduced to 0 hp or below will be rendered deeply unconcious for 1d100 hours, a save vs. spell will reduce this time by half. Against a psionic creature, a failed save inflicts 5d4 PSP damage. This power is a massive mental barrage of devastating power that tries to completely overwhelm the victim's mind.
PSIONICS AND MAGIC

  Many psionic powers duplicate those of magic, however, Detect Magic and similar spells will not detect psionics, a True Seeing would show some strange force at work though. A psionicist merely needs to look at a target and think, he has no modifiers to his initiative, his speed factor is effectively 0. However, psionics is generally weaker than magic, magic relies on vast, external forces while a psionicist has only the powers of his own mind. In a contest, psionics frequently loses against magic, except when dealing with the mind or manipulating matter on a small scale, in such cases only an enchanter or transmuter is a psionicist's equal and even then its generally a draw.

   Psionics are not affected by deadmagic areas, but antimagic areas and spells will prevent psionics from working and PSPs being spent. Note that Minor Globe of Invulnerability and similar spells have NO effect on pisonics! They only stop magic!

   Most psionic powers duplicate spells, to make it simpler for folk to use psionics, the following lists of psionic abilities are taken from the Player's Handbook spell lists. A psionicist uses them at the same level of effect etc. as an equivalent wizard or cleric. Note that spells and psionics work very differently, but the differences are to varied to go into detail for each power. The numbers in the POWER'S TABLE (below) are for random rolls when creating a character/creature. Note that some powers are duplicated in different disciplines, this is because they achieve much the same thing, but through different means.

   Powers from the Complete Psionicist's Handbook can be used if wished, as several are very useful, and are noted at the end of this section.
  Typically, Initate powers are like 1-3rd level spells, Adept 4-6th, and master 7-9th. There are some exceptions, somethings are easier for psionicists, others more difficult. Psionicists cannot cause mass destruction as they simply lack the needed foce required to create a Meteor Swarm, for example.

  An important note, many psionic powers are ended if the psionicist is rendered unconcious or killed, as the powers are sustained by his mind. This mainly applies to Psychokinesis powers, not psychometabolic (since the effect has already occured in the victim), charms are weakened slightly when the psionicist is unconcious, but not broken unless he's dead.

The Tables Of Powers

- INITIATE -

(1) Clairsentience
(1) Comprehend Languages (2) Detect Evil (3) Detect Invisibility (4) Know Alignment (5) Locate Object
(6) Clairaudience (7) Clairvoyance (8) Delude (9) Non-Detection (10) Detect Poison
(11) Speak with Animals (12) Detect Psionics (similar to Detect Magic)      
(2) Psychokinesis
(ALL creatures with Psychokinesis powers have Telekinesis in addition to any others)
(1) Affect Normal Fires (2) Audible Glamer (3) Burning Hands (4) Feather Fall (5) Hold Portal
(6) Mending (7) Shield (doesn't affect Magic Missile spells) (8) Shocking Grasp (9) Unseen Servant (10) Ventriloquism
(11) Blur (not an illusion) (12) Darkness 15' radius (13) Improved Phantasmal Force (not an illusion, light is created to produce an image) (14) Irritation (15) Knock
(16) Levitation (17) Pyrotechnics (causes a small, non-magic item to burn up) (18) Shatter (19) Gust of Wind (20) Protection from Normal Missiles
(21) Slow (1 victim only) (21) Wind Wall (22) Shout (23) Entangle (24) Dust Devil
(25) Heat Material (as Heat Metal, but only 1 item affected) (26) Silence 15' radius (27) Stone Shape (28) Produce Fire  
(3) Psychometabolism
(1) Enlarge (self only) (2) Jump (3) Spider Climb (self only) (4) Alter Self (self only) (5) Strength (self only)
(6) Feign Death (7) Haste (self only, no aging) (8) Infravision (9) Vampiric Touch (self only) (10) Water Breathing
(11) Cure Light Wounds (only usable once per day per person) (12) Aid (self only) (13) Hold Person (1 victim only, no save penalty, touch required) (14) Contagion (by touch) (15) Slow Poison (only usable once per day per person)
(16) Barkskin (self only) (17) Resist Fire/Cold (self only) (18) Cure Disease (only usable once per day per person) (19) Cure Deafness (only usable once per day per person) (20) Cure Blindness (only usable once per day per person)
(21) Remove Paralysis (by touch)        
(4) Psychoportation
(1) Leviate (2) Blink (3) Summon Swarm
(4) Summon Insects (5) Withdraw  
(5) Telepathy
ALL creatures with Telepathy powers get Sending and one free attack mode of Initiate level
(1) Change Self (used on one victim to make psionicist appear as he wishes) (2) Charm Person (3) Sleep (4) Spook (5) Taunt
(6) Blindness (7) Deafness (8) ESP (9) Forget (10) Invisibilty
(11) Ray of Enfeeblement (12) Scare (13) Tasha's U. H. Laughter (14) Hold Person (15) Invisibilty 10' radius
(16) Spectral Force (1 victim, save spells or see etc. what the psionicist wishes) (17) Suggestion (18) Command (19) Invisibilty to Animals (20) Remove Fear
- ADEPT -
(1) Clairsentience
(1) Detect Scrying (2) Contact Other Plane (3) Legend Lore
(4) True Seeing (5) Commune With Nature (6) Find The Path
(2) Psychokinesis
as noted above, ALL creatures with Psychokinesis powers have Telekinesis in addition to any others
(1) Fly (2) Dig (3) Fumble (4) Airy Water (5) Bigby's Interposing Hand (it's an invisible force but otherwise as per spell including it's armour class)
(6) Cone of Cold (can be reversed to Cone of Heat, maximum damage of each is 7d4+7 hp) (7) Distance Distortion (8) Major Creation (9) Transmute Rock to Sand (similar to rock to mud, but maximum is one 10' cube) (10) Wall of Force
(11) Bigby's Forceful Hand (it's invisible force) (12) Disintegrate (13) Repulsion (14) Stone to Flesh (15) Animate Object
(3) Psychometabolism
(1) Polymorph Self (2) Stoneskin (self only, 1round/level) (3) Hold Monster (by touch, 1 target only, no save penalty)
(4) Tenser's Transformation (5) Cure Serious Wounds (only usable once per day per person) (6) Neutralize Poison (only usable once per day per person)
(7) Cure Critical Wounds (only usable once per day per person)    
(4) Psychoportation
(1) Fly (2) Dimension Door (3) Conjure Elemental
(4) Monster Summoning I to V (monsters are permanently brought to wizards area but are not controlled and are probably very angry but don't know who brought them here, have to learn them in ascending order I, then II etc)
(5) Dismissal (6) Invisisble Stalker (7) Teleport
(5) Telepathy
as described above, ALL creatures with Telepathy powers get Sending and one free attack mode of Initiate level
(1) Charm Monster (2) Confusion (3) Contagion (victim thinks he's got disease) (4) Emotion (5) Enervation (no Dex bonus to save, victim's skills etc are weakened)
(6) Fear (7) Fire Charm (8) Fumble (1 victim) (9) Improved Invisibility (10) Phantasmal Killer
(11) Curse (reverse of Remove Curse) (12) Shadow Monsters (affects 1 victim, he thinks they're real if he fails save Spells) (13) Advanced Illusion (affects everyone in 20' diameter with no PSPs they think its real) (14) Chaos (15) Domination
(16) Dream (17) Feeblemind (18) Hold Monster (19) Demand (20) Eyebite
(21) Geas (21) Mass Suggestion (22) Programmed Illusion (everyone in 20' radius whith no PSPs sees what the psionicist wants)    
- MASTER -
(1) Clairsentience
(1) Vision (2) Screen (3) Foresight
(2) Psychokinesis
as noted above, ALL creatures with Psychokinesis powers have Telekinesis in addition to any others
(1) Bigby's Grasping Hand (an invisible force) (2) Force Cage (3) Mordenkainen's sword (4) Power word, Stun (a stunning blow hits victim, but no damage as such) (5) Reverse Gravity
(6) Bigby's Clenched Fist (invisible force) (7) Glassteel (8) Bigby's Crushing Hand (9) Crystalbrittle (10) Animate Rock
(11) Blade Barrier (from surrounding materials, like rocks) (12) Earthquake (13) Fire Storm (14) Sunray  
(3) Psychometabolism
(1) Duo-Dimension (2) Finger of Death (only usable once per day per person) (3) Energy Drain (the attacker gets the hit points the victim loses as temporary boost and gets a "glimpse" of any powers etc lost, extra hp are lost after 1 day)
(4) Heal (only usable once per day per person) (5) Regenerate (only usable once per day per person)  
(4) Psychoportation
(1) Banishment (2) Monster Summoning V-VIII(monsters are permanently brought to wizards area but are not controlled and are probably very angry but don't know who brought them here, have to learn these powers in ascending order V, then VI etc) (3) Duo-Dimension
(4) Phase Door (5) Teleport Without Error (6) Maze
(7) Astral Spell (8) Plane Shift (9) Gate
(5) Telepathy
as described above, ALL creatures with Telepathy powers get Sending and one free attack mode of Initiate level
(1) Charm Plants (2)Binding (3) Mass Charm
(4) Mind Blank (5) Power Word Blind (6) Symbol (30 yard range, 20 foot diameter)

 

ABILITIES FROM THE COMPLETE PSIONICS HANDBOOK

   All Sciences are considered to be of Adept level, and all devotions are Initiate level. Powers generally last for 1 round/level, except where stated otherwise.

OBJECT READING (Initiate) Clairsentience Range: Touch Duration 1 round/level Area of effect: one object. Save: Nil
   When used on an object, each round of study will reveal one random fact about it: who previously owned it, who were they etc. This power can only be used ONCE on an object, after that it is too "psychically polluted" to be examined again. Easier facts are generaly learned first, and secretive or very magical creature's who were in contact with the object often leave faint or confusing traces. i.e. the DM determines, generally by random dice rolling, what is learned. 

PROBE (Adept) Telepathy Range: 2 yards Duration: 1 round/level Area of Effect: 1 creature Save: Negates
   This psionic ability is used to burrow deep into a victim's mind, if they fail a save vs. spell, rolled each round, the psionicist learns one important fact. Secrets, character class etc can all be learned. It is not infallible, a very wise character can give false information, but it is far from easy.

DETONATE (Adept) Psychokinesis Range: 60 yards Duration: Instantaneous Area of effect: 1 item, 8 cubic feet.
   This power causes an object to explode with shocking force, every creature in 10' radius will take 1d10 hp damage. It cannot be used on creatures (except skeletons and zombies) or permanent magic items. It can affect an object in a creature's hand, but there may be penalties on the psionicist's power check if the object is moving fast.