View Full Version : Power of the Jewels (Psion Ability)

2006-09-11, 01:30 AM
I'm creating a campaign world based off of all the various fantasy worlds, including Anne Bishop's Dark Jewels Trilogy.

The world is based off of psions, and each recieves power from Jewels recieved at birth and puberty as far as I can tell. In order to best represent this, iwas going to grant bonus power points at each level, based off of two rolls, one at level 1 and one at level 10.

At Level 1 roll 1d10 to determine color of the birth jewel.

3-Tiger Eye
6-Purple Dusk

Then at Level 10 roll 1d3. Add this to the roll you rolled at Level 1. For Green and higher-


The question then is how many power points to award each level. The choices are between x1, x2, and x3.

Fore example, Davon is a level 1 psion. He rolls a 1 on the table, so is born with a white jewel. at x1, he earns a bonus of 1 extra pp each day for each class level he has. so at level 9 he has 9 extra power points. 18 if x2, and 27 if x3. At level he rolls the d3, this time getting a 3. He now also benefits from the Rose jewel, which awards 4 extra points. so by leve 20 he would have +20 for the white and +44 for the Rose, for a total of 64 extra points. Or 40 and 88, for 128, or +60 +132 for +192 at x3.

By comparison, Arzalek is born a red Jewel and proceeds to black. Thus at level 20 he would have:
(20x10=200 + 11x13=143) = +343 at x1
(20x20=400 + 11x26=286) = +684 at x2
(20x30=600 + 11x39=429) = +1029 at x3.

Now in the book world, one of the black jeweled characters exterminated an entire race, including utterly obliterating any reference to their culture and the islands they lived on, to the point there was no trace it ever existed. Granted, letting a character get this much power would be rare, and there are checks for it in the game world I have planned. But besides my DM fiating, which of these do you folks think works the best? What ideas might be offered to refine and perfect the system?

2006-09-11, 03:51 PM
And would these pp be instead of their normal power points?

2006-09-11, 08:03 PM
This is far too variable. I can see a mindthruset for 500d10 damage with a saving throw only possible by a natural twenty from someone with a single level in psion, while a pure psion doesn't even have that much to spend.

2006-09-11, 08:21 PM
To be able to mindthrust for that much damage would require an insanely Epic psion. There is a cap on how much PP you can spend per manifestation, equal to your manifester level.

2006-09-11, 08:50 PM
Ooohhh. That makes sense. However, that'll still allow a mid-teen level psion to make basically infinite use of any power he likes, if he's lucky. What I mean to say is that a lucky character may easily end up with enough power points to use timeless body every round of every battle and also use any quickened power he has every round of every battle by level twenty. An unlucky character would end up being an above average psion with a very large, but very finite point pool. I really dislike such variation, especially within a party. It'll take some majorly creative checks to balance that without making your players feel like they're being gipped out of complete and infinite power.

2006-09-11, 10:30 PM
Yes, these power points stack with the regular ones, instead of replacing them. And yes, this does mean there will be some turly awesome psions capable of all day battles, while others would have maybe enough for an extra trick or too, but that's sort of the way it works in the books. The really low powers would fortunately, be just as rare. The average power level would be about opal through sapphire, if I'm thinking right.

Now, that said, yes, the three darkest jewels (there is one darker then black, but its off limits save for one NPC) are meant to be ridiculously powered. An Ebon Gray character (think level 17 Psychic Warrior) does manage to hold off an army of flying goblin types for several days in the books, and thats what I'm trying to recreate, while keeping it simple enough should a PC want to try.

EDIT: And the points I listed where for the level 20 characters. At x3, a level 1 red jeweled character would have at most 30 bonus pp.

2006-09-11, 10:35 PM
Are these hereditary?

Can female psions get them as well?


In all seriousness, I think it's overpowering in comparison to noncasters. Fighters are already unfortunate enough. Don't make it worse.

2006-09-11, 11:10 PM
Actually, if i want to really be true to the books, female psions should get a +1 bonus to the rolls. Lengthy origin legend later, the powers were given through the females first, and males only started to devolop powers around the third generations. The entire society is matriarchal, based off around courts centered on a queen.

As for being hereditary, yes and no. The powers are passed down through familys, but the level of power can be inconsistant. Thus, two red jewels might have a rose jeweled child. Or they might have a red jeweled child who ends up wearing ebon gray.

As for the figher comparison, well...bleh. Poor fighters are doomed no matter what. There's a reason an army's cannon fodder waves swrods instead of wands.

Lord Iames Osari
2006-09-11, 11:29 PM
So no-one has the same jewel after 10th? That just doesn't seem right to me. At 10th, instead of rolling 1d3, how about 1d4-1, with 0 being an explicitly possible result?

I haven't read the books, so if this goes against flavor or something...

2006-09-11, 11:37 PM
No, as far as I know you always get a darker jewel when you make the Offering to the Darkness, with certain exceptions, the main one being rape. The books do have certain amount of sex in them, but I was going to forgo that in the campaign world, save for a few mentions of "broken" NPCs. That, and if any of the PCs get involved with anything like that, they then end up having to deal with the NPC characters from the novels, who are up there on the power scale.

2006-09-11, 11:37 PM
I have a feeling that that joke went about a foot over your head. Or two feet under it.

2006-09-12, 03:22 PM

Tactfully disguised, it added a nat 20 to its Disguise: Humor check.

2006-09-12, 03:33 PM
Randomness in character generation != good idea.

Lord Iames Osari
2006-09-12, 03:52 PM
No, as far as I know you always get a darker jewel when you make the Offering to the Darkness, with certain exceptions, the main one being rape. The books do have certain amount of sex in them, but I was going to forgo that in the campaign world, save for a few mentions of "broken" NPCs. That, and if any of the PCs get involved with anything like that, they then end up having to deal with the NPC characters from the novels, who are up there on the power scale.
So then EVERYONE makes an "Offering to the Darkness" @ 10th? What kind of consequences are there?

I should probably read the books so I have some idea what's being discussed, shouldn't I?

2006-09-12, 04:17 PM
Randomness in character generation != good idea.

Right then, that's why they didn't include that section in the PHB and DMG about rolling stats.

2006-09-12, 08:27 PM
The offering to the darkness isn't so much a sacrifice as a pledge type deal. "I promise to uphold the ways of the blood...etc." Think of it more like the Reborn of Bahamut from Races of the Dragon. Maybe a small cost for materials, followed by a ritual performed alone for at least one day.

The point is not so much to offer something, but to reassure the source of the powers that you are indeed worth lending a bit of energy to. Which is why some people get much more powerful, while others barely advance.

Lord Iames Osari
2006-09-12, 08:34 PM
Then shouldn't it be a roleplay type dealie? As the DM, establish ritual procedures which the PCs can research. Maybe throw some Diplomacy checks in there or something; depending on how well they do, you can grant them a result of 1-3 (I forget what it's for now). For important NPCs, you can assign an appropriate number or just roll 1d3 like you've got here.

2006-09-12, 09:06 PM
Hmmm, probably. Most of the important NPCs already have gone through with the ritual, thus have their full powers. And most commoners don't wear jewels, so the DM doesn't have to worry too much about building them. Most of the checks in the system are built into the NPCs, which is a pain, but meh.

As for subverting the Offering roll, well its a possibility I guess. It wasn't intended to be something big, more like the raptoran ability to fly. "Ok, you've gone so far in life, now we'll test you to see where you really end up." sort of a thing.

Though this does bring up an interesting point. This would only be available to Kaleeriean psionics. So what would people do to handle it for outside psions?

On a side note, most animals/races have blood members, so you could for instance run into a psionic rabbit. Which could pose some interesting challenges in and of itself. Keep the ideas coming folks!