View Full Version : Wilder handbook!

2009-06-02, 01:49 PM
I had posted this in BG forums and would like to share it with you guys. I would really like some more input to make it better so any feedback is much appreciated.

I'll start with cvazi's build guild:
Wilder Build Guide and Compendium

by cvazi

Way of the Wilder:

Note: for those who are not familiar with certain term, I have tried to link as many of the less familiar terms to an appropriate definition or guide. Feel free to post if I missed something.

The Wilder is one of the most overlooked classes from the XPH. Players tend to focus on the manifesting capabilities aspect of the Wilder, see the severely limited powers known and the dangerous power boosting ability, and write the Wilder off as a “glass cannon.” There are two types of Wilder characters: The Multiple Ability Dependant (MAD) Gish Wilder who stands side by side with the party tank, and the Single Ability Dependant (SAD) “Social” Wilder who capitalizes on the high Charisma to charm/dominate everything in sight.

Some believe that the RAW Wilder is underpowered and have tried to "fix" the Wilder. The most popular "fix" is the variant created by Ra-Tiel. This treatise is on how to optimize the RAW Wilder and does not cover tactics for the Ra-Tiel Version.

For those of you who are not familiar with the Psionics rules for DnD V3.5, feel free to visit the System Reference Document for the complete rules set. Another good resource for those unfamiliar with the Psionics rules is the New DM's and Player's Guide to Psionics. Finally, for those who argue that psionics is overpowered, there are two threads dedicated to countering this arguement:
Myth: The XPH is overpowered and Myth: The XPH is Overpowered II.

Core Abilities:

Manifesting Capability:
Powers Known:
I am going to lead with my chin on this point. This is the weakest part of the Wilder Class. With an abyssal 11 powers known at level 20, you are allowed 1 power known at each level and an extra level 1 and 9 power. To make matters worse, These powers are limited to the Psion/Wilder general list. The Wilder does not gain access to any discipline lists- or to the more important Psi-Warrior list. This makes power selection THE MOST CRITICAL CHOICE a wilder will make. Expanded Knowledge and Powerstones are your friend- learn them, love them, live them.

Power Points:
You have power points equal to a Psion of the same level. This means gives you the liberty to spend points far more freely than your fellow psi-gish the Psi-Warrior. To add to the strength of the wilder, the wild surge class ability allows you to conserve power points to a greater extent than your full manifesting brethren the Psion. By knowing when to conserve, and when to spend, the Wilder has the greatest lasting power of all the psionic classes.

Armor Proficiencies/Elude Touch/HD/ Weapon/Base Attack Bonus:
The Wilder is proficient with all simple weapons, light armors and shields (except Tower Shields). At Level 1, this provides greatest protection of any offensive (CoD-Zilla beats them, but has no punch to it's early spells) 9-level manifesting/casting class. Also, since psionics is not affected by armor the way arcane casting is, the Wilder can manifest powers while wielding a weapon and heavy shield without repercussions. Elude Touch gives the Wilder a significant edge against opponents that rely on touch spells. The d6 HD puts the wilder as a solid second tier warrior.

The light weapon proficiency allows the Wilder to use moderately effective weapons such as the morning star, the spear and the crossbow. The ¾ BAB allows the Wilder to use these weapons effectively. The ¾ BAB also happens to make the Wilder the best class for touch/ranged touch/ray spells.

The Wilder has a strong set of skills. For social skills, the Wilder has bluff, sense motive and intimidate. The Wilder is also gifted with Spot and Listen- something most warrior classes are lacking. Finally to top off the gish argument, the Wilder has Tumble as a class skill.

Wild Surge/Psychic Enervation:
This ability is the compensation for the low number of powers known. This ability allows the wilder to conserve its power points at early levels and for grueling dungeon crawls. Simultaneously, this ability allows the Wilder to perform augment powers far beyond by the capabilities of an equal level Psion. The cost of this incredible power is the potential for Psychic Enervation. For this reason, the wilder will rarely surge for more than 2 points. Still, a +2 manifester level per manifestation will make a definite difference in combat.

Surging Euphoria:
This is another often overlooked ability that offers a strong argument for a gish build. The surging euphoria (which you will almost assuredly be experiencing during combat) will raise your BAB to +18 at level 20, and add a nice +3 damage bonus to all your attacks.

Volatile Mind:
Mechanically, this is a joke of an ability. It has great flavor applications, but you will probably not be seeing this ability in your game.

The Wilder and The Nova:

Simply put, the Wilder is not a class well designed to nova. The Wilder simply does not have the feats and powers known to invest in a nova combo. Also, the signature ability of the Wilder the wild surge, is not conductive of manifesting multiple powers per round. The psychic enervation drawback to wild surging will stop the Wilder's entire Nova turn. Therefore if you do design a Wilder to nova, the wilder really will a one-trick pony who cannot use his signature move during his one trick.

2009-06-02, 01:50 PM
The Gish Wilder


The "Gish" (Multi-Purpose) Build is a warrior version of the Wilder. The Wilder uses its significant manifesting capability to achieve mobility, damage, health and utility over the fighter, barbarian and psi-warrior.

Build Guide:

Ability Score Distribution:

The ability distribution for the wilder is similiar to that for a paladin. You desire strong physical stats and a strong Charisma. As your levels progress, the need for Con diminishes with use of the Psi-crystal - Share Pain - Vigor combo. Since the "Gish" Variant is a warrior type of character, the need for Charisma is lower than the SAD Wilder Variant. The minimum requirement for CHA is to manifest your highest level power.

Multiclassing/Prestige Classing:
The optimized Wilder gains tremendous power when level dipping. At the loss of some class abilities, most importantly that second ninth level power, the Wilder can gain some very impressive capabilities.

To solidify the gish capabilities without losing a BAB, the Wilder might take his first level in Fighter for the extra feats and the proficiency in medium/heavy armor and all martial weapons. The second level will be taken later his career to obtain a tactical feat. All in all, the fighter brings a lot to the table for Wilder.

Some suggest the hexblade as a viable level dip. The only thing good in the hexblade is the Cha to saves ability (level 2) and mettle (level 3). The hexblade sports d10 HD and full BAB, but no additional armor profs. This is a good class to pair with the Blackguard since the Cha to saves ability from both classes stack. If you do this, expect to take a total 4-5 level hit to your manifesting class.

If you can accept a BAB loss, the Psi-warrior brings the same benefits as the fighter- martial weapon and armor proficiencies. In addition to these benefits, the Psi-Warrior bring several powers- which due to the modularity of psionics, can be boosted by the wild surging ability. Also due to the modularity of psionics, you can spend the superior Wilder power points on your traditionally low use frequency Psi-Warrior abilities. The most important reason to dip into Psi-Warrior is the ability to use his bonus feats on Expanded Knowledge.

For those who wish to capitalize on the Wilder’s high charisma, two levels in paladin are a solid choice. In addition to gaining the martial weapon proficiencies and armor proficiencies, the Divine Grace ability uses the Wilder’s high charisma to boost his saves.

Black Guard:
For the non-good wilder, the black guard is a solid choice for a level dip. It provides full martial proficiencies, weapon proficiencies AND tower shield proficiency. Most importantly, it provides the Charisma bonus to saves. It also provides minor clerical spells. This class works well with the hexblade class, but has steep requirements (power attack, cleave and improved sunder).

Along with the wilder, the Elocator only uses a ¾ BAB. The main reasons a Wilder would go into this feat intensive PRC will be to obtain the Transporter ability of the Elocator. Gaining Teleport and Planeshift powers as level 3 powers may be worth it to some players. Elocators gain proficiencies in all Martial Weapons.

Psychic Weapon Master (Mind’s Eye):
The Psychic Weapon Master has incredibly steep pre-requisites (6 Feats, 3rd level powers and a +5 BAB). However if you are willing to invest heavily in this path, you might find the benefits worth it. Originally intended for the psi-warrior, the wilder finds that the path of weapon master offers many benefits. These benefits include a full Base Attack, a d8 HD, Martial Weapon Proficiencies and Armor Proficiencies. The Wild surging capability offsets the ML loss in this PRC.

Quori Nightmare:
Since the Quori Nightmare relies on touch attacks and uses Cha to determine the efficacy of its class abilities, the Wilder is the probably the best choice to enter this class. I am not familiar enough with this class to comment further.

Sanctified Mind:
This is slayer-lite. You require all martial weapons to qualify for this class (requires a level dip), and the feat Iron Will (a boost to your strong save). In return, it give Full BAB, no armor prof's and the partition mind ability. The Partition mind ability allows you to retain a standard action when you are dazed from your psychic enervation. This will allow the more manifester oriented wilder to perform maximum surge with every power- and only worry about power point loss. This class is really shines agains psionic opponents with what might as well be called the "smite psionics" ability.

SRD Slayer/Illithid Slayer:
This is the “Ferrari” of all prestige classes for the Wilder. It grants 9/10 Manifesting Levels, a HD upgrade (d8), a full BAB, martial weapon/ heavy armor proficiencies AND selective mind blank. As a Wilder 11, Slayer 9, you lose your second ninth level power, 2/6 wildsurges and 2/3 Surging Euphoria (though you gain it back when you go epic). The trade off is well worth it.

Power Selection:

How to Capitalize on ALL your actions:

As a warrior type, your job is to get into the fray as soon as possible- and buy your casters enough time to blast your opponents away. A warrior who spends 4 rounds buffing himself before entering combat will get his companions, and consequently himself, killed. As a manifester who is filled with juicy power points, if you do not use them, you are not using your full capability (and will probably get your party, and consequently yourself, killed).

With the advent of the XPH, the traditional round has been deconstructed into the following actions:
Full Round Action: Full Attacking, Spring Attack, Manifest Astral Construct
-Standard Action: Standard action required to manifest most powers.
-Move Action: Allows you to draw weapons/items, Regain Psionic Focus (with Psionic Meditation), Dimensional Slide/Dimensional Door/ Dimensional Swap
Immediate/Swift Action: Manifest Powers

Using this paradigm, as a warrior type, maintaining the ability to full round actions is of the utmost importance. This leaves you with many power points to burn. Without taking feats the only way to do this would be to use long lasting (hour per level) powers, such as share pain, darkvision, and danger sense, out of combat powers, such as planeshift, detect psionics, and incarnate, and swift/immediate actions such as intellect fortress, evade burst, and temporal acceleration. Temporal acceleration is probably the best power used to obtain pre-combat buffs and healing yourself in the middle of combat. As a rule of thumb, the Wilder should avoid offensive powers during power selection because the Gish Wilder is better suited to deal damage using his full round attack.


Feat Selection:

The Art of Expanded Knowledge:

Expanded Knowledge it the staple feat of the Gish Wilder. Instead of climbing feat trees as a fighter to gain power and versatility, the Gish Wilder picks up cross class powers. Each power you obtain must fit your combat style and BE WORTH AN ENTIRE FEAT TREE. Sure, claws of the beast, energy missile or form of doom may be very powerful powers- but are they worth an entire feat tree? IMHO, the following three powers are:

Schism: This is the most incredible power for a Gish Wilder. Simply put, this power allows you to fully utilize the might of your standard action powers. You can self buff during combat, heal yourself (schism + vigor + share pain + psi-crystal=undying tank), teleport yourself or blast your opponent all while making a full attacks.

Metamorphosis: Aside from the standard turn-into-firbolg-and-blast benefit most casters get, you can fully utilize that incredible strength as a tank AND share this power with your psi-crystal to gain a flanking partner or mount.

Astral Construction: This power simply rules the mid level combats. As a single classed Wilder 12, you are creating Level 9 Astral Constructs (19HD, CR10 not counting the extra 2 abilities). They have untouchable AC’s, very tough PR and a whole host of powerful abilities.

Other Useful Feats:

Quick Recovery (LoM): Allows you a save as a move action to break out of a Daze (as from Psionic Enervation).

Deflect Shield (LoM): allows you to add your Shield Bonus to Touch AC

Deflect Armor [Psionic] (RoS): Adds your Armor Bonus to Touch AC

Earth Power [Psionic] (RoS): Lowers the cost of manifesting by 1

Righteous Wrath (BOED): With the clarity of mind this ability grant, it could be argued to allow manifesting powers while raging. A more thorough explaination can be found here.

Example Builds:
<most of the links are down, but will post what I can later on>

Playing the Gish Wilder (to be expanded):
The most important thing to remember while playing a wilder is that you have many different actions. You have a standard, a move, an immediate, and possibly a schismed action. Each one of these can be used to manifest powers. You have the power points to spend. Use them to your fullest. Wild surging should be used conservatively. A 1-2 point surge can make the difference between life and death. Maintain Surging Euphoria during combat.
In Role Playing situations, you are not as useless as most warriors. You have a high Charisma and most of the social skills. Use them to your advantage.

2009-06-02, 01:52 PM
Low level comparision between the Wilder and the Psi-warrior:

Think of the Psi-warrior as the Fighter of the psionic world, and the Wilder as the Barbarian of the psionic world.

At first glance, the Psiwarrior has 4 big advantages over the Wilder as a tank: HP, Martial Weapon Proficiencies, Heavy Armor Proficiencies, and feats. I would argue that the powers of the wilder more than compensate for these advantages.

On the HP gap:
On average, the Psi-warrior has a base of 1+level HP advantage over the Wilder. However, with Vigor, and eventually SVP combo at 4, taken into account- the clear winner is the Wilder.

Level: HP Gain Times/Day (Using only BASE pp)
1 10 2
2 15 3
3 25 3
4 60 3 (Share Pain)
5 70 4

On Martial Weapon Proficiency:
The major drawback is the lack of 2 Handed Weapons. Otherwise the damage is pretty even:

Weapon Damage Damage over 20 Hits
Longsword 1d8 (19-20)x2 22d8
Battle Axe 1d8 (20)x3 22d8
Morning Star 1d8x2 21d8

On Armor:
At early levels, the Wilder will only lag 1-2 points behind the Psi-warrior. The difference only becomes more pronounced after level 4 when the Wilder can have over double the HP of the Psi-warrior. The Wilder's Touch AC will be superior because of the higher Dex-to-AC from lighter armor and Elude Touch. By cost, the armor by level looks like this:

Level Armor(PW) Armor(W)
1 Chain Shirt +4 Studded Leather +3
2 Chain Shirt +4 Chain Shirt +4
3 Splint Mail +6 Chain Shirt +4
4 Half Plate +7 Chain Shirt +4
5 Full Plate +8 Chain Shirt(+1) +5

On Feats:
Psi-warriors win. Wilders compensate with Surging Euphoria at Level 4 and multiple uses of combat powers (I laugh at the lvl 5 PW's 7 pp!).

The Quintissential Low Level Wilder Tank:
"Sword and Board"
Feats: Psionic Shot, Point Blank Shot, Psicrystal Affinity
Powers (In Order): Vigor, Energy Ray, Share Pain
At level 1, he wears studded Leather, carries a heavy shield, a spear and a morning star. He opens combat with his spear, then wades into combat using his morning star. He manifests Vigor when he is injured. At level 2, He loses the spear.

"Tactical Tank"
Feats: EWP Spiked Chain, Power Attack, Psi-crystal Affinity
Powers: Vigor, Precognition: Offensive, Share Pain
Between with Precognition: Offensive and surging euphoria, the Wilder hits harder and more frequently than his PW counterpart.

Wilder has more HP, Hits Harder, Hits more Frequently.
Psiwarrior has more feats, and better AC.

Wilder: Psi-warrior:: Barbarian: Fighter

The power curve for the 20 Level Straight Wilder (Gish Style) goes like this:

1-3: The wilder rocks! His lack of heavy armor proficiency is offset by the fact that noone can afford platemail at that level. By coupling psionic shot with wildsurge, he gets more bang for his buck than any other caster- including the warmage, the arcane damage specialist. Essentially, he is an armored offensive caster with 3/4 BAB.
4-6: The wilder starts to fall behind the meleeist in AC due to his lack of Heavy Armor. He more than compensates for his lack of AC using the Psi-crystal/sharepain/vigor combo. His melee potential is kept up because of surging euphoria. He compensates for his lack of martial weapon proficiency by using damage spells, where he is still comparable to offensive casters against one target and he has greater efficiency.
7-11: The straight wilder sucks here. He does not have enough HP to compensate for the lack of magical heavy armor against power attacking foes. He requires use of actions to stave off death. He does not have area control of arcane casters. This is the most likely period for a level dip to get Heavy armor and martial weapons. By sacrificing manifester levels here for proficiencies, the wilder easily surpasses the thump/tactical fighter. The straight wilder survives his period by carefully using his powers to maximum effect: Egowhip takes out those who are stronger at melee, and dimensional door + physical attacks against casters. This is the period where the straight wilder is the 2nd tier warrior. This period is also where the Shifter race is so powerful because it allows metamorphosis at level 8, allowing the wilder to bypass the need to multiclass to maintain decent AC and deal non-power dependant damage.
12-20: Starting at 12, all the rules change. Assuming the wilder has not sacrificed more than 2 manifester levels, he gains access to "schism" and "metamorphosis" through "Expanded Knowledge." This translates to the wilder able to maintain the PSV combo, and alternate by sending an offensive power when he doesn't need the extra HP. Metamorphosis allows the wilder to overcome his AC problem with natural armor and fully capitalize on his surging euphoria ability with multiple natural attacks.

<Will include builds for this section later>

Due to my inexperience with primary casters, I am looking for submissions for how a "Social Wilder" fits into a 20 level power curve.

The "Social" Wilder

Despite the name, the “Social” Wilder is still capable of hurting their opponent. The “Social” Wilder is less combat oriented than his “Gish” brother- and instead of relying on fighter style tactics, uses a strong Charisma to fuel multiple abilities.

Build Guide:

Ability Scores:

Charisma. Charisma. Charisma. That is your main ability score. As with many primary caster types, a strong Con and Dex are helpful. But your strength lies in the ability score which your casting is dependant on: Charisma. Many of the builds posted in this thread consolidate their abilities into Charisma to avoid multiple ability dependencies.

Multiclassing and Prestige Classing

This is a 2 level dip. Depending on whether to 2 level hit to your caster and manifester level are worth it, the Paladin is taken for the extra HP and the more important Cha to all saves.

Sorcerer/Favored Soul(CD)/Warmage(Car)/Mystic(DLCS)/Spontaneous Casters:
Spontaneous Casters all use Charisma as their primary casting ability score. For this reason alone, they are useful to the “Social" Wilder build. Of course this is only a level dip to gain access to the spell casting capability of your choice. This is a gateway to the next set of PrC’s.

Cerebromancer/Psychic Theurge(Mind’s Eye):
These two classes are the bread and butter of the “Social" Wilder. As with their arcane variants, the mystic theurge and the arcane hierophant, the cerebromancer and psychic theurge allow full casting in both seed classes. This grants the “Social" Wilder access to more versatility with another spell casting class at minor sacrifice to their primary class.

Cognition Thief (PGtF)*:
Wow this guy is a boon to the “Social" Wilder. The CT covers the most important weakness of the Wilder-power’s known. Though this class is a 6/10 ML advancement, at every level where they lose a manifester level they gain 2 powers known from the telepathy discipline. In addition, they gain several nice spell like abilities such as read thoughts at will. Note: even though the PGTF references the "Psionics Handbook," it actually uses the rules from the XPH.

Thrall Herd:
For those less inclined to dip into spell casting, the Thrallherd offers many good benefits for a pure psionics "Social" Wilder. Though the Thrallherd is only a 8/10 ML advancement, you gain psionic charm and psionic dominate as free powers known. Also the leadership capability is Charisma based and grants you TWO cohorts.

Psion Uncarnate:
This is not really an optimized PrC, but I THINK IT IS NEAT. This is a measly 6/10 ML advancement class. The Uncarnate Bonus to DC helps offset the loss of ML. The nice Role Playing value in the Uncarnate is the assume likeness capability and the natural incorporeal subtype are fun. Plus when you become a full Uncarnate, you gain your Charisma to AC.

Power Selection:

Power selection is less critical for the "Social" Wilder than for the "Gish" Wilder. You do not have to watch all your actions since you are not performing full attacks. This is not an excuse to be sloppy with the power selection though. Depending on how you are multi-classing and your spell selection will change your power list.

Spell Selection:

These spells should be on your watch list:
Mental Pinnacle- Grants 5 additional offensive powers and 3 power points per caster level.
Dweomer of Transference- Converts spells into Power Points
Favor of Illmater(PGtF)-Divine spell that grants significant defensive capabilities INCLUDING IMMUNITY TO PSYCHIC ENERVATION.

Feat Selection

Unfortunately, the "Social" Wilder does not have much options with Feats. The majority of your feats will be used in pre-requisites. The remaining feats will be distributed in increasing saves and caster levels. You will either be a strong manifester or caster since feats that benefit powers do not necessarily benefit spells, nor visa-versa.

2009-06-02, 01:55 PM
And here is my own stuff:

This handbook was made to try to clear up some misconceptions about this very balanced and versatile class. I have to say this is more of a supplement to cvazi’s wilder build guild found here (http://forums.gleemax.com/showthread.php?t=487972) which is where I learned how to play a wilder in the first place. While it is a great starting place it, it lacks some things like all of complete psionics book (another maligned aspect of psionics), features and variants from Mind’s Eye online resource (found here (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/arch/psi&page=1)) and racial selections. These represent a significant addition to what kind of wilder you can build and will be the main basis for this handbook, for the rest I will kindly refer you to cvazi’s original post.

Wilder in a nutshell is this: manisfest fewer powers, but better than a psion of the same level. They are akin in psionic specialists, but have more ML (thanks to wild surge) rather than extra spells.

Wilder is often confusing to beginners because it seems so wishy-washy. Not as much bonus feats as the psychic warrior or psion, and less powers to choose than both of them. To make matters worse, they cannot select many of melee friendly powers found on the psiwarrior list, or have to spend the precious few feats that they get to use the powers on discipline lists, via EPK. That first impression often makes people turn away from this class and the bad impression often sticks.

Wilder is in fact a class with a lot of potential, but if it wants to excel in a particular area, it needs to commit. With so few powers to pick from it would seem obvious that you cannot do everything the way a psion can.
In the Caster/”batmat”---------Frontliner spectrum, wilder is dead center with its ¾ BAB, large PSP pool, and limited powers, a Wilder can be anything it wants to be, but once it starts down one path she will have to commit to it. Cvazi’s mentioned a MAD gish build which will devote most feats and powers towards melee and a CHR focused blaster/save-and-win type diplomancer.

What cvazi didn’t mention, is that some of the wilder’s weaknesses can be overcome somewhat with new material and good selection of PrC.
All posts use the following key:
navy blue> blue > black > red

Most things fall into red, so we try to limit our discussion to the better stuff.

PHII/Mind’s Eye Variants:

Educated Wilder
You have had formal psionic training.
Level: 5th, 9th, 13th, and 17th.
Replaces: You lose the volatile mind class ability at all levels listed above.
Benefit: You have received some formal psionic training and as such, you have unlocked psionic powers most wilders never dream of. You gain the Expanded Knowledge feat at all of the above levels. But due to the training involved, your mind is not as untamed as most wilders and you lose the defensive ability volatile mind.

Mantled Wilder
Your focus allows you access to a psionic mantle.
Level: 1st and see below.
Replaces: You lose your elude touch class ability; also see below.
Benefit: You gain access to a single psionic mantle from Complete Psionic. You replace the elude touch class ability at 2nd level with the mantle's granted ability and gain access to the powers on the mantle list. In fact you must take those powers at your first opportunity. If you chose the Creation mantle, you would have to learn astral construct and minor creation at 1st and 2nd level, for example. You are free to choose all other powers from the psion/wilder list.
(Straight from the website referenced in the intro.)
The educated wilder is makes a useless class feature into a great boon for the wilder. At no point will an extra 4 EPK ever be trumped by volatile mind. EPK is your go-to feat anyway, so this will allow you to spend your 7-8 feats on other things like metapsionic feats or other melee focused feats. It should assumed that ALL wilders use this variant. It is really that good.

The mantled wilder variant is a mixed bag since elude touch is a really good class feature, I mean how many things do you know that increase you AC against touch attacks and by so much? Mantles are one of the best things to come out of CPsi as they often come with a feat-like bonus (or just give you a feat for free) and give you access to powers you normally can’t get. This variant also qualifies you for the tap mantle, which is mostly useless except to metamorph into outsiders. Here are some mantles worth considering for your wilder:

-Communication: grants +2 to diplomacy checks if focused, and gives you access to charm, and suggestion, 2 telepath only power that any diplomacy wilder should make heavy use of.

-Conflict: gives weapon focus as a free feat and access to one of best psiwarrior powers in the game: psionic lion’s charge. Spirit of war is a power completely forbidden to psiwarrior that grants +4 on attack and damage, as well as +10 on 1 save or crit confirm. If you are going gish this is a must have mantle. Here's a debate on just how good PLC is: http://brilliantgameologists.com/boards/index.php?topic=4312.0

-Creation: gives ectopic form as a free feat, and more importantly; access to astral construct and minor creation at level 2. Even if you use EPK, you cannot get these powers until level 4. Taking this mantle allows you to be creating constructs as early as level 2. Minor creation can be very strong if paired with quicken power or even better, linked power. Both are must have powers for pretty much any build and well worth the investment.

-Freedom: basically gives you speed of thought feat for free. The interesting thing about it is that it doesn’t SAY you get speed of thought, so by RAW if you have speed of thought and this mantle you get +20 to your movement! That’s right, they are different sources and hence stack. The power list is also impressive: hustle, teleport, fly. All very decent powers found on the nomad list. This mantle comes highly recommended.

-Good and Evil: gives you exclusive protection from spells. The only real reason to take this mantle is to metamorph into outsiders using planar apotheosis/embrace. This is the only time taking the feat tap mantle is really worth it, since its granted ability sucks.

-Natural world: gives the wild empathy feature but more importantly, metamorphosis as early as 8th level (as opposed to 12th) No need for me to elaborate on how good metamorphosis is right? If you are starting out at level 12 anyway this might not be that great of an investment.

Awake DM golem shares some insight into mantle variants. These variants will require DM permission, but should go over better than constant reformations.

Mantled Wilder looked bad, as in not useful, early on.
Then Mind's Eye got the Substitute Powers for Ardents.
But it specifically referred to the Mantle itself, as what could be changed.
Divine Minds needed this badly. And Wilders can now use the Mantles better.

Magic Mantle works very well now.
UMD/UPD thingy on Charisma, the best stat.
Limited list of powers.
Substitute specifically says, you get 9 or 10 powers.
So fill in with the following list:
Make My Mantled Wilder Not Suck Power A
Make My Mantled Wilder Not Suck Power B
Make My Mantled Wilder Not Suck Power C
Make My Mantled Wilder Not Suck Power D
etc ...
much better.

And here is the exact wording from Mind's Eye:

Substitute Powers

Considering the esoteric nature of mantles, different ardents may have the same mantle but have different powers available to them. A mantle can have no more than ten powers in it, and if it has fewer, add further powers to fill the gaps if that mantle has no powers of that level. The powers need to fit the theme of the mantle at the DM's discretion. Otherwise, you can substitute a power of equal or lesser level. For example, the sense danger* power could be added to the Fate mantle as a 3rd-level power since only seven powers and no 3rd-level powers are in it, or the faint memory* power could replace escape detection in the Deception mantle.

Shifter wilder sub level
As a shifter you take -2 on CHR which is bad but you gain so much that it is worth it. This feature is found in races of eberron, and lets shifters pick from the egoist list. This makes greater metamorphosis available to wilders. At level one you gain all the same features as a standard wilder plus the egoist list open to you. At second level you gain savage renewal, which nets you PP after you shift. At 6th level, you get to extend your shifted mode as long as you have surging euphoria active. Of course this means you can't take the mantled variant (and lose elude touch), but gaining access to arguably the best set of powers (metamorphosis, fission, etc) is decidedly better than being forced to take powers on a mantle.

2009-06-02, 01:56 PM
Races/templates: The ideal race would be naturally psionic and have +2 or more to CHR, and have wilder as a favorite class. That being said here are the best of the bunch.
Human: not naturally psionic, or have +CHR but extra feat could make up it in the long run. Never a bad choice for any class. The baseline on which all other races are judged on.

Shifter: with the substitution levels this is a very good race choice for wilders. In addition to gaining metamorphsois early, you can pick up greater metamorph at 17, something not possible with EK pre-epic (EK allows you only access to powers of up to one level lower than what you can manifest). See the intro for more info.

Elan: -2 CHR is bad but their DR for PSP ability makes them a decent choice for would be tanks.

Maenad: other than favored class: wilder, I don't see the point of picking this over humans.

Xeph: Good choice for a gish build with its ability to get many attacks with xeph celerity.

Synad: Free schism that doesn't give -6ML is always a welcome. Reroll a failed save is universally smiled upon.

Warforged: This was a great choice for psions but sadly not all the great for wilder. -2 CHR is a killer, but you can still metamorph into constructs so its not all bad. Also psychic damage repair makes this cost an extra feat.

Kalashtar: 1 PSP per level. Only race that does this, but its real jewel is the mindlink ability.

Dromite: +2 CHR , naturally psionic and wilder as favored class make this ideal for a CHR SAD wilder. Also get free blind fighting, AC bonus and energy ray 1/day.

Half-giant: good stat bonuses for a MAD gish build, powerful build makes this race worth the LA.

Aasimar: Not psionic but +2 CHR and other decent spell-like abilities make this a strong choice for either gish or CHR wilder builds.

Githyanki: -2 WIS might make quick recovery harder to use. Still has some very decent psi-like abilities whihch are CHR based. Depending on what timeline you use, Githyanki might not have planeshift psi-like ability due to the death of the Lich queen. If so it would be hard to justify the +2 LA

Githzerai: +6 DEX and +2WIS are nice although the value of DEX is questionable when you plan on metamorphing. Have pretty good psi-like abilities as well.

Half-fey: +4 CHR, gains wings, a bunch of mind affecting abilities, and most of all CHARM AT WILL. Fun to have whether in a RP situation or combat.

Half-nymph: +4 CHR, no negatives on stats. Gains the ability awesome beauty, which makes anyone looking at you shaken for 1 minute. You don't even have to target them, all they have to do is see you and be shaken by you sheer beauty.

Half-doppelganger: Empathy at will and alternate form 3/day. With metamorphic transfer you might be able to do cool stuff depending on how creative you are.

Phernic: power resistance, and a lot of psi-like abilities help to offset the lack of powers a wilders has. Overall, a strong choice.

Bestow power "cheat": My thoughts on the bestow power "cheat" is simple? So what? A wilder is no good at going nova anyway, and wild surge does a lot to preserve PSPs as it is which is often made up by an untimely enervation (puff no power, wasted PSP AND dazed). I try to think of Wilders as psionic versions of warlocks anyway.

Feats: only listing feat you will even want to consider, so no reds. This is a pretty extensive list, but some only apply for certain builds. You can also consider getting flaws to squeeze in all your feats. Which flaws to get are also dependent on what kind of wilder you are building.

The fact is psychic enervation makes going using wild surge past +2 unpractical. However, if you consider that wild surge is the whole basis of of a wilder some liberal interpretations of the talented feat is in order.
Like overchannel, wild surge gives you bonuses to your ML upon manifesting a power. In many ways they are similar to each other, in that they are needed to qualify for anarchic initiate PrC, and cannot be used at the same time. They differ in their side effects and scope: wild surge can bump a power higher and faster (+5 by lvl 15 as opposed to +3 with overchannel), pays for the augmented costs, while overchannel deals hp damage and doesn't leave you dazed.
If we equate overchannel and wild surge then a wilder can take up talented feat. If talented removes the side effects of overchannel then it stands to reason it does exactly the same for wild surge. No need to roll for enervation. While this may sound broken sit and think about what this really means. Talented only works on 3rd level powers and under, so no metamorphosis. It also requires you to expend focus, which makes it impractical during combat without a heavy feat investment (EK: hustle, psionic meditation, psicrystal affinity, psicrystal containment). Expending focus has one important implication: no metapsionic feats to apply (unless you have psicrystal containment or Elan retention). Also think about what you are actually expending your focus on? A CHANCE to prevent enervation as opposed to overchannel's guaranteed 3d8 of damage. Even at wild surge +6 you would still have a 66.6% of it working just fine.

Quick recovery:
Already mentioned in cvazi's post but so good it is worth mentioning again. Wilder has a good Will save and risk getting dazed a lot. Combined with hustle for even greater effect and WIS is no longer a dump stat.

Iron will:
A preq for Sanctified mind and works well with quick recovery.

Psionic meditation:
Get re-focused using a move action instead of a full turn. You will be making use of this a lot for talented and metapsionic feat.

Use the free PSP from wild surge and combine it with your favorite metapsionic feat and you manifest two powers for the price of one. Linked power with synchronicity is potent choice allowing for many tactical options (and extra turns!), the higher your wild surge the better this feat gets (like cheap lvl 9 powers manifested at instant speed? I do!).

Linked Power:
Pure gold. Use this with creation powers to make cage in an instant, manifest AC while full attacking the things you can do with this feat are amazing. This even works when you are dazed since you manifested the power the turn before. To get the best mileage out of this feat the linked power should be a long manifesting time. Also, this feat has no set +PSP cost, it is determined by the 2nd power you wish to manifest. This means that metapower, imp metapsionics and wild surge can boost the potency and DC of your linked power to astronomical levels. Now combine this with schism and you will be swimming with actions to do during your turn. Oh and use Synad multitask and temporal acceleration to...... well you get the point i hope.

Extend Power:
This metapsionic feat is free with wild surge. Great for utility powers like interial armor, schism, and temporal acceleration.

EK: Schism:
This power is a must have for any psionic character, but even more so for wilders. When combined with practiced manifester and wild surge, you can manifest powers at or above your current ML. Not only that, when you are schismed, your "real" mind is shielded from the effects of psychic ennervation. The only drawback to this is that you will not gain the benefits of surging euphoria when manifesting powers this way. This should be taken at level 9, with either the EK provided by the educated variant, bonus powers granted by the cognition thief, or level feats.

Psicystal affinity:
Yeah, yeah, metamorphosis and share power. Share power, share pain and vigor for undying tank. The things this little guy provides to you just goes on and on.

Illithid feat chain:
Refers to heritage--> compulsion--> legacy--> greater legacy This could include illithid blast as well if you want to enter the cognition thief PrC. Why are these feats good? Because in four feats you get 4 awesome telepath only powers (charm, read thoughts, dominate and dispel) but also +1 to all DC with compulsion descriptors, and +2 on saves against spells/powers and spell/psi like abilities. This is the only feat chain a wilder should even consider following, unless she is going for thrallherd or cognition thief (bonus 8 telepath powers in exchange for 4 ML).

Practiced manifester:
When you use schism you get a -6 on your ML. With this feat you only get -2 ML. If you multiclass you will find this even more useful. A must have for any wilder (or anyone planning on using schism). If you plan on entering the cognition thief this feat is even more valuable as it allows you access to high level powers despite the lose of 4 ML.

Postpone enervation:
Postpone daze effect for 3 rounds. During that 3 rounds you can't use wild surge...... not the best way to deal with enervation since quick recovery with hustle is better.

Instant clarity:
From ToB, this cool little feat lets you regain your focus as a swift action after you use a maneuver 3/day. If you need to regain focus faster than a move action this is the way to do it. If you took a dip into a ToB class making a gish character then combining this with psychic renewal will allow you to keep using the best maneuver you have 4 times in a row. Nothing says you don't provoke AoO with this feat so be careful.

Metamorphic transfer:
Better make room for this feat, it is a must have for obvious reasons. Allows you to use Su abilities 3/day while metamorphed. Only applies to one Su ability each time you take it, taking it another time makes it apply for different Su ability.
Euphoric reduction:
Good for higher levels and only if you see yourself tanking. This converts your euphoric surge into DR instead of attack bonuses. Adds a bit of versatility to your wilder.

Enervation endurance:
Cuts your PSP lose due to enervation by half. This could be a real life saver in higher levels. If you want to rest easy with the fact that you will have more effective PP than and other manifesting class well into epic levels this is the feat to pick. See the section on PP lose to see just how effective this feat really is.

Elan retention:
For 3 PSP you keep your focus. Could be great for nova if it wasn't for the fact that it is Elan only. These guys have -2 on CHR.

Boost construct:
If you plan on using AC a lot using proxies to fight for you this is a feat to get. If you combine it with ectopic form feat you could get a very formidable servant on your hands.

Synad multitask:
Before you can get schism this is the way you get to do two things at once. After you get schism this is the way you will most likely manifest it on turn one. Synad only, but they are a great choice to start with.

Xeph burst extra:
Gives you more use of Xephs burst ability and can be selected multiple times. Not that great in itself but when combined with..........

Xeph Celerity:
combined with Xeph burst this allows all those useless bursts to be traded for an extra attack at full BAB. Many a Xeph build just has 6 extra bursts and one celerity for an onslaught of attacks. Xeph gish wilders should pay attention to this one.

2009-06-02, 01:58 PM
Getting around ennervation

PP lose:
It appears that people have don't like how ennervation PP lose scales with wilder level. The fact of the matter is with some simple math it becomes clear that the lose is either non-existant or very minimal and with one feat completely wiped away.

To calculate the total amount of PP gained in 100 manifestations the formula would look like this:


where x is the amount of wild surge used. Each wild surges gives a 5% chance of ennervation, this is subtracted from 100 to get the numbers of non ennervated results.

So for a wild surge +4 the chances of it working fine is 80%. So in 100 manifestations you have 80 successes and 20 failures. 4 times 80 gives you 320.

Now the formula for PP lose in 100 manifestations is:
Where x is the wild surge level and y is the wilder level.
So at level 14 using wilder surge +4 would result in a lose of 280 over 100 attempts.

The easy way to remember the break even point for each wild surge level is that their sum is 20. So a wild surge of +2 would break even at 18, while a wild surge of +6 would break even at 14. I personally feel that this has little bearing on how effective the wilder is in action but if making an imaginary profit in the long run is important to you then ennervation endurance will raise the sum to 39.

Wild surge +1: level 19/38
Wild surge +2: level 18/36
Wild surge +3: level 17/34
Wild surge +4: level 16/32
Wild surge +5: level 15/30
Wild surge +6: level 14/24
(number after the dash is with ennveration tolerance)

The lose of your PP is in proportion to your total PP too (if not a bit less). Higher surges should have higher risks. At level 20 using a +6 wild surge you would on average spend an extra 1.5 PP (or 15 over ten tries) because level 20 is over the break even point. I don't know about you, but 1.5 PP for +6 ML is worth it. Note that all this is averaged out so in most cases (70%) you will pay nothing. If you have to think about it in a niche protection standpoint; if PP lose scaled with wild surge level instead of wilder level no one would want to play psion.

But lets face it, you are not drawn to wilder for the profit margins. You want the raw power that an extra +3 ML can provide. Next on hhow to not worry about losing a turn.

Dazed and confused

Being dazed because you were unlucky sucks, but there has to be a price to pay for acting too big for your britches right? This is most likely why wilders are shunned upon, but there are in fact many ways to worm out of this. Here is a quick and dirty list although I'm sure they have been listed already.

Talented feat: only works on 3rd level or lower powers and needs to expend focus. Pretty blah if you ask me but it is reliable.

Favor of Illmater: a spell from PGtF, makes target completely immune to stunning and daze effects.

Quick recovery: If you start a turn dazed, you can use a move action to do a will save to shake out of it.

Partitioned mind: one of the reasons sanctified mind is such a great PrC for wilder is that it allows you to ignore the effects of daze for a number of rounds equal to your CHR bonus + SM class levels.

Delay ennervation: postpones your daze for 3 rounds but during those 3 rounds you can't wild surge. meh

Schism: If you are manifesting under (while the real you is full attacking) a schismed mind and you happen to ennervate, only your schismed mind is affected. Best way to avoid getting dazed.

Once schism is on board it is unlikely you will need other ways to deal with daze.

Oh the joys of surging:

The biggest thing to realize about wild surge is that it breaks one fundamental rule of psionics: You can only spend as much PP on a power as you have MLs.

The easiest thing you can notice about surging is the increased effectiveness of your powers. They last longer, deal more damage, more augmentable, higher DC. Then there is surging euphoria that makes you a better gish as well. If you picked the shifter sub levels, when you surge you can extend your shifted form for an extra round. The best thing I have found with wild surge is to use metapsionic feats more sooner. When combined with metapower (or at epic levels imp metapsionics), this advantage becomes even more obvious because metapower actually reduces PP costs which frees up 2 PP on augmentations (that's one extra level on AC). At 3rd level you can extend power for free by virtue of your wild surge, with metapower and wild surge you could always do full damage without paying for the metapsionic at all.

Just remember that once you get schism, you will not be enjoying the benefits of suring euphoria as much. Small price to pay for not having to worry about daze.

Expanded PrCs
Here I'll try to expand on the PrCs most suited for wilders. Some are better than others, some are great for any build, while others are only good for certain builds. Cvazi has touched on most of them but here's my own take on them given my experiences. I personally prefer to stay in wilder till 7 for wild surge +3 before going into a PrC as wilder but I'll let you decide what is best.

Anachic initiate:
Only PrC that will continue your wild surge progression, but oddly this PrC is much better for psions (yes psion with wild surge +2!!!). But alas this is better for a one level dip for chaotic surge. This is because as nice as chaotic breech is, surging euphoria and free EK from educated variant are better. Oh and you can't this until 13 due to the knowledge (planes) ranks needed. No biggie since you get surging euphoria+2 and an extra EK at 13, which means you would've wanted to stick with wilder till 13 anyway.

Ectopic adept:
Only a good choice if you are going for an army of one type build where you take this PrC to 5 for double creation and then follow by taking thrallherd. Otherwise constructor is the better PrC.

8/10 ML and allows for construct with 4 menu selections as well as an extra construct at the same power level and free (thanks to wild surge). You can also manifest them faster, last longer, are tougher and more versatile than the traditional AC. Lets not forget about utility construct either for all the mundane tasks that you can't bother yourself to do. It even acts as a mount when need be! Very easy build too, just get AC via EK or mantle variant, and take this PrC to ten, then resume wilder.

Arch psion:
This is mainly for the social wilder due to its 1/2 BAB progression. But it is a 5/5 ML and it allows for you to get more powers at the expense of PP, thus making up for one of the wilder's greatest weaknesses. Greater focus series will certainly be welcome for wilders favoring save-or-die/suck powers. A lot of the high psionics listed are from 3.0 so readjustments may be needed.

Crystal master:
Never tried this PrC but it looks great for customizing. Many give bonuses to stats, some give psi-like abilities, and other boost defense. If it had 3/4 BAB then it would be perfect for any build but as it is, I'd say its great for social wilders but only a 2 level dip for gish.

Amazing PrC for any wilder build but this may not be that great if your DM doesn't allow for a lot of down time to activate the mediation centers. But once activated a center can dramatically improve any aspect of a wilder and last for longer as you advance in this PrC. the main drawback to this PrC is time.

The things you can do with a thrall and your believers border on broken. Great for a dip or all the way, the wilder's high CHR almost guarantees that your thrall will be the best you can find. My personal favorite is a wilder9/cognition thief 10/thrallherd 1. With cognition thief (and practised manifester) you gain 9th level telepath powers which are mind switch and psychic chiurgery. Find a believer with nice physical stats and true mind switch with him. Then find a high level psion (any but telepath) and give him psychic chiurgery (with your psychic chiurgery) and make him give you all his known powers, or better yet reform him and repeat the process. Then dismiss/kill him, put out another call for a different psion till you have all the powers you need. You may find yourself lacking in some XP but who cares when you have every power you could ever need pre-epic?

Cognition Thief:
Main weaknesses of wilders is lack of powers and restricted to psion/wilder list only. This PrC addresses all those needs by giving you 8 powers from the telepath list. Don't be fooled by the 6/10 ML. The description clearly states: "She can choose any power that she is able to manifest. Even Cognition thieves that manifest their powers as wilders, can choose from the telepath discipline list which is otherwise forbidden to them" So taking up a practiced manifester before you go into this PrC will allow you to pick even high level telepath powers as if you didn't lose any ML at all. Also you get things like read thoughts AT WILL. Yeah this PrC kicks ass.

The Philosophy of Blasting
It should seem obvious that in a blasting contest a wilder would easily trump a psion or even a sorcerer (of equal levels), in thanks to better BAB, surging euphoria and elude touch. In fact, it is not even a fair fight if all you compared was damage dealing. Don't get me wrong a wilder is not on the same tier as a psion or even a sorcerer but when it comes to blasting, a wilder is king. A better comparision is the warlock. With 3/4 BAB progression and self scaling damage, and 12 invocations by 20th level. It is very comparable to a wilder with 3/4 BAB, scaling damage and DC, and 11 (or 15 with educated variant) powers. I would still pick wilder to win due to having higher ML and better attack rolls (thanks to surging euphoria), no arcane spell failure and better touch AC. Only thing warlock has on wilder is endurance, they can blast and blast while wilder is still limited by its PP reserve.

Now that we have established that wilders are premiere blasters let's see what powers are suitable for a would be blaster. What you want is scalable damage and DC, preferably resolves as a touch attack (no PR or saves), hits multiple targets, and works in antipsi/magic fields. Not many fit all of these but that should clue you into something important: you don't have to invest in many powers to be a great blaster. Almost all damage dealing powers have one thing in common: 1 PP for one die of damage no matter the power level so usually scaling damage is not an issue.

Surprising as it may sound, energy missile is NOT that great. At first blush it seems to break the rule of 1 PP per 1d6 since it deals 15d6 for only 3 PP, has scalable damage and DC. But if you read carefully it has a save, can be resisted and the worst is that your targets have to be within 15' of eachother, and you CANNOT target all 5 missiles on the same target. I really don't see why people go gaga over this, it only useful if all your enemies huddled together and useless in a duel. The same applies for energy current, and it needs you to take solicit psicrystal to make any real use of it.

Energy ball has great range but like all "energy" powers it is resistable and has a save. The only exception is energy ray, which only has PR and a good choice for any level.

Crystal shard and concussion blast would be perfect if it hit multiple targets, but if you are fighting only one target then this is great and you can have both by level 1. The shard also works in a null psionics field.

Swarm of crystals has no save, no PR hits many targets, perfect for hitting multiple targets. Only drawback is puny d4 damage makes it really underpowered at higher levels.