View Full Version : [3.5] Warped Mind - Tainted Psionic PrC w/Rebuke; New Powers; Deity

2009-12-06, 11:10 PM
For a while now, I've been thinking about how one of my characters (not in any games; purely literary) has powers that function a lot like psionics do in dnd. On occasion, I've tried to draw up an NPC version of him to harass my group, but I've never been able to get it just right, and it usually involves exploiting sacred exorcist, mystic theurge, and ur-priest. While that was a fair approximate of his abilities, it was also more than a bit cheesy and still didn't capture the real flavor of what he could do. He doesn't channel any sort of outside force - no mana, no stealing power from the gods: he grabs hold of the universe and threatens to beat it like a character in a bad mafia flick if it doesn't do what he says, capiche? Ultimately, he even ended up getting a hold of the akashic record and could use his powers on a deific level, so what better to do than to make him an outright deity and give his followers a prestige class? ;)

The Class, v1.0
“Gods? There are no gods, only immortals drunk on their own power. That much is a fact. The evidence is that even those who are called the most high fear me, and I am nothing more than a fool who dabbles in the dark.”
– Daedalus Archimon, god of atheists

They might have been religious at a time, but now, there is nothing more than a smoldering hatred for the divine, declaring curses on the gods that abandoned mortals to death and despair. Though their abilities are little different from those of an ordinary manifester, they believe that the power to impose their will upon the world is proof that the gods are nothing more than immortals with bloated egos, villains that should be cast down from their thrones (though the Archimon has a tendency to allow good-aligned deities to keep their immortality).

Psions and wilders gain the most benefits from the warped mind class. Psychic warriors and psychic rogues can also benefit, but are more likely to pursue other prestige classes, if any.

Alignment: Any evil; see below.
Skills: Concentration 8 Ranks, Knowledge (the planes) 8 ranks, Knowledge (psionics) 4 ranks, Knowledge (religion) 4 ranks, Psicraft 8 ranks.
Feats: Apostate (Elder Evils).
Psionics: Able to manifest 3rd-level powers.
Taint: Enthralled or Hubristic
Special: You must have access to the writings of the Cult of the Threefold God, which worships the Archimon against his will. If you have maintained a good or neutral alignment despite your depravity, an avatar of the Archimon may personally grant you entry to this class. If so, you gain a +4 profane bonus on all Will saves to resist changing alignment. If you willingly change to evil alignment, you permanently lose this bonus.

Hit Die: D4
{table=head]Level|Base Attack Bonus|Fort Save|Ref Save|Will Save|Special|Spells

+2|Aura of Evil, Rebuke Undead, Threefold Mark|-

+3|Necropsi Focus|+1 level of existing manifesting class

+3|-|+1 level of existing manifesting class

+4|Rebuke the Damned|+1 level of existing manifesting class

+4|-|+1 level of existing manifesting class

+5|Greater Necropsi Focus|+1 level of existing manifesting class

+5|-|+1 level of existing manifesting class

+6|Rebuke the Wicked|+1 level of existing manifesting class

+6|-|+1 level of existing manifesting class

+7|Hail to the King|-[/table]
Class Skills (2 + Int modifier per level): Autohypnosis (Wis), Bluff (Cha), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Knowledge (all skills, taken individually) (Int), and Psicraft (Int)

As your knowledge of the dark grows, you gain greater and greater control over those who dwell in it.
Powers Known: At each level of warped mind except first and tenth, you gain additional power points per day and access to new powers as if you had also gained a level in whatever manifesting class, you belonged to before he added the prestige class. You do not, however, gain any other benefit a character of that class would have gained (bonus feats, metapsionic or item creation feats, psicrystal special abilities, and so on). If you had more than one manifesting class before becoming a warped mind, you must decide to which class to add each level for the purpose of determining power points per day, powers known, and manifester level.
Lust for Power: The power of taint is rich, heady, and difficult to ignore. Once you start on your dark path, it's hard to escape. If you wish to advance a level in another class, you must succeed on a Will save (DC = 10 + your depravity score). If you fail, you must advance another level in warped mind instead. If you succeed, you may advance a level in another class, although you must still attempt the saving throw the next time you gain a level.
Taint Saturation: Once your corruption or depravity score reaches the threshold for death or insanity, it cannot increase further until your Constitution or Wisdom score increases, raising the threshold.
Aura of Evil (Ex): Your mind’s horrible warping influence on the world around you radiates an aura of evil as a cleric with a level equal to your total manifester level. You generate such an aura even if your alignment is neutral or good; naturally, this will lead to a number of misunderstandings.
Threefold Mark (Ex): Having completed your studies in the dark or else blessed by the Archimon himself, you have been marked with a sinister looking triskele directly above your heart. If this mark is visible, you gain a profane bonus on Intimidate checks and an equal penalty on all other Charisma checks with all creatures that have less than moderate depravity. This number is equal to one-tenth of the percentage of your corruption (round down). For example, a warped mind with a Constitution score of 10 can have up to 41 points of corruption before dying, so if he had 14 points of corruption, he would gain a +3 bonus on Intimidate checks and a -3 penalty on other Charisma checks. As your corruption score increases, the Mark grows proportionally, so it grows more difficult to cover up. If you ever reach the death threshold, the Mark covers your entire body, turning your skin an inky black.
The Mark also imprints knowledge of the following powers as if you had gained them through the Expanded Knowledge feat: psionic detect taint, black spot, <insert others later>. This does not give you the ability to manifest powers of a level higher than you could normally.
Rebuke Undead (Su): You gain the ability to rebuke undead, as a cleric with levels equal to your total manifester level, though the key ability score doing so is the same as the ability score used for your manifesting. You also qualify for any feats with rebuke undead as a prerequisite, and may replace any references to divine spells with psionic powers. This ability is not divine in nature but rather comes from enforcing your own tainted will upon that of the target undead. This is considered to be an offensive gesture by all gods, and as such, you lose any prior ability to channel positive or negative energy in such a manner.
Necropsi Focus: At second level, you begin to revel in powers that step on the gods’ toes and treat life as a plaything. You gain a +1 profane bonus on manifester level and DC (if applicable) for the following powers (Note: this list includes only includes powers from the XPH. Additional powers are subject to DM discretion. In a high-powered game, I recommend Hyperconscious, which includes a number of [evil] powers, including psianimate dead.):

bend reality
black spot
claws of the vampire
control body
crisis of breath
crisis of life
death urge
detect taint, psionic
form of doom
fuse flesh
id insinuation
inflict pain
mind seed
painful Strike
personality parasite
psychic crush
psychic vampire
reality revision
recall agony
recall death
share pain, forced
strength of my enemy
time hop
time hop, mass
vampiric blade

Rebuke the Damned (Su): At fourth level, you By spending two of your daily rebuke undead attempts, you may choose to instead rebuke (or command) evil outsiders. By spending three uses, you may rebuke undead as well, using only one standard action.
Greater Necropsi Focus: At sixth level, your mastery over life, death, and the universe grows ever stronger, granting you an additional +1 profane bonus to manifester level and DC (if applicable) when manifesting necropsi powers.
Rebuke the Wicked (Su): At eighth level, your ability to command the taint is so great that you may even call out to the darkness in the hearts of mortals. By spending three of your daily rebuke undead attempts, you may choose to instead rebuke (or command) any living creatures with a taint score. Tainted creatures with a neutral alignment have +2 rebuking resistance, while good ones have +4. You may also spend additional uses of your rebuke undead ability to rebuke undead and evil outsiders as one standard action.
Hail to the King (Su): At tenth level, you become a Demented Duke, second only to the Archimon himself, and a demigod in the eyes of the tainted. Assuming that they don’t already bow before you, you may command them by spending double the number of rebuke undead attempts required to rebuke the category of tainted creatures you chose.

You were a raving madman of one sort or another, having been driven to the brink of complete lunacy by the taint that slowly began to accumulate on your soul until you either gained either arrogance fit for a fiendish emperor or a fascination with evil that is outright unhealthy. Afterward, you either delved deep into foul secrets kept by the Cult That Should Not Exist, fragments of the Archimon’s early writings, which sicken even some of the most vile minds, or else retained your purity despite the poison coursing through you soul and were given the Mark by a mysterious stranger. Through it all, your hatred toward the gods for using mortals as their playthings in foolish cosmic squabbles, and your belief that they should be cast down has been you driving force. Perhaps you believe that you could be a better god; perhaps you believe that no one should sit on that lofty throne. Regardless of what you believe, your advancement into the warped mind class represents the first step toward that noble goal.
Unfortunately, your path is a lonely one, and there are few who will accompany you: even the highly charismatic Archimon was alone, save for an insane pit fiend determined to devour his soul, a succubus who was actually his deceased lover, and (oddly enough) a chaotic good halfling who had nothing better to do and thought that his brooding was hilarious. You, however, couldn’t care less, as the day when you take the throne nears, and they shall all have their just desserts.

Initially, your performance in combat drops noticeably, with the lost manifester level putting a strain on you capacities. If you’re lucky, you’ll be in a position that allows you the use of your new ability to weaken undead foes. If you’re enthralled, however, you need to be careful to not exhaust your power points and psionic items or else you’ll likely find yourself unable to damage your foes. On the other hand, if you’re hubristic, you’ll need to make sure that you don’t take any damage at all or else have powers capable of regenerating any injuries you take, or your adventuring endurance will plummet.
As you increase in level, you should attempt to control weaker undead with your mental mastery in order to provide yourself with a shield that you can hide behind. Once you gain the ability to rebuke fiends, you should make use of it to indefinitely gain their spell-like abilities, though you should remember that non-summoned fiends might call some friends to help kill you in your sleep. Upon gaining the ability to control any creature with a taint score, you should consider employing tainted scholars as artillery; if any rebels, you could put him down easily. Assuming that you survive until becoming a Demented Duke, you are able to use you minions with relative impunity, as your ability to command the foul on a whim allows you to replace any who are killed, and won’t have any trouble taming any who become a tainted minion or raver.

As you rise in level, you won’t gain many appreciable benefits, but your ability to manifest taint-related powers without suffering a penalty to your Wisdom score or will prove a powerful tool and will also let you spend a feat slot on other pursuits. Once you gain the ability to rebuke outsiders, your ability to acquire forbidden lore improves, as you may wheel-and-deal with fiends without having to fear a direct assault. You finally come into your own when you gain the ability to make even ordinary humans bow before you with nothing more than a touch of your black spot power. At tenth level, you lose a bit more of your manifesting abilities, but at the same time, you gain the power to enslave those very evils that you had been forced to grovel before only levels earlier, and more than a few clerics and paladins will think twice about killing you when doing so would release an army of commanded fiends.

As one of the students of the Archimon, you are part of a network of blasphemers, necromancers, and all lots of unsavory, power-hungry beings – and you just might be the worst of them. As such, it is generally a good idea to conceal your identity from most eyes, and your new acquaintances are often more than happy to help you when you need it most, if the price is right. Even among all these, though, meeting someone with your talents is a rarity, and more often than not, they are just as mad as you are, if not more so, which frequently leads to the death of at least one of the involved parties. As a result, you should give your fellow warped minds just as much concern as you would the priest of a major religion.

“Mys – Daedalus – whatever you call yourself, why do you stand against me? You were the one who showed me that the gods were viler things than devils! Why won’t you help me take their place?”
– Raphael Angelus, blackguard

The vast majority of warped minds represent those rare few that realize enforcing one’s will on reality is little different from the taint’s ability to warp even the purest of souls, and that the ability to control both physical reality and souls is the exclusive domain of gods. The few exceptions to this rule are usually limited to insane cultists who worship a god who kills his own worshippers just as frequently as those of his enemies. As a class, it appeals most to players who enjoy playing “evil overlord” type characters, without forcing the DM and other players to put up with the nonsense of the Leadership feat or the Thrallherd class.

Warped minds are usually individuals who have locked themselves up in some tower or other grandiose lair and portray themselves as future rulers or stewards, who will finally take their rightful place as Dukes when the Archimon performs the Un-Heresy, the destruction of all gods, both alive and dead, even those reduced to vestiges. As such, they will often have some sort of retinue, though exactly what that entails depends on the individual’s own financial situation.
Beyond theses delusions of grandeur, warped minds are much like ordinary psions, though a bit darker in thought than usual: sharing much the same relationship with psions as do insane necromancers do with other wizards. That said, you have no need to share powers as wizards do spells, so you’re probably better off avoiding all but the darkest-minded of your peers.

The path of the warped mind is a highly secretive one, and as such, any who follows it is likely to be highly secretive. Thus, there are no known warped minds, save for the Archimon and his greatest student, a necropolitan psychic warrior known only as “Revenant.”

While finding other warped minds is a difficult task, finding a local base of operations for the Cult of the Threefold God is much less so. While this seems almost contradictory, most offices of the Cult are relatively harmless and often consists of little more than disgruntled farmers angry about the recent harvest, sobered-up alcoholics that would otherwise be in the gutter, gamblers who lost everything, and the like. Nearby religious organizations typically leave such cells alone, as they often help the community by keeping their members focused on a task instead of causing trouble, though cells that show any real hatred of the gods are watched closely for signs of uprising, at which point paladins are sent to arrest the key members, typically dissolving the cell without bloodshed.
A prudent warped mind uses this generally neutral image to his advantage, hiding his burning hatred among dissenting townsfolk, many of whom would be more than honored to help keep one of the Archimon’s most diligent followers from the authorities and “stick it to the man.”

The average commoner sees no difference between warped minds and ordinary psions, – or wizards for that matter – after all, they’re all smart, power-crazed city folk who can kill you with a glance, right? As such, the vast majority of reactions you will get are neutral, assuming that the warped mind’s actions have no effect on the community. This reaction is also typical of most martial characters, unless they have good instincts or experience with psionics or taint. Psionic characters immediately recognize that there is something unnatural about the way your will works on reality, though they will often not be able to place it. Arcane casters, by the same token, will often be able to tell that there’s something inherently darker about you and may wonder if you haven’t dabbled in necromancy. Divine casters, however, will almost inherently be able to discover your true nature, and even evil ones will try to kill you if they discover the full extent of your powers.

Characters with ranks in Knowledge (the planes) or Knowledge (religion) can research warped minds to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including the information from lower DCs.
DC 15: Some manifesters called warped minds hate gods and seek to destroy them.
DC 20: Warped minds embrace the horrors of the taint in order to gain more power. This makes their psyches very fragile but also grants them powers reserved for clerics.
DC 25: Warped minds study fragments of forbidden texts preserved by the Cult of the Threefold God, which worships a god called the Archimon.
DC 30: The warped minds’ ultimate goal is to gain the same power as the gods and serve as the Archimon’s Demented Dukes when he destroys the current gods.

New Powers Related to the Class, WIP
The following are some of the psionic underworld’s greatest forbidden powers, and it is debated to this day as to who it was who developed them, though Genesis March is often cited as the Archimon’s signature power in texts (some more dubious than others) kept by the Cult of the Threefold god.

Detect Taint, Psionic
Level: Psion/Wilder 4
Display: Auditory and visual
Manifesting Time: 1 standard action
Range: 60 ft.
Target: Cone-shaped emanation centered on you
Duration: Concentration, up to 1 min./level (D)
Saving Throw: None
Power Resistance: No
Power Points: 1

As detect taint (HoH 128), except as noted here.

Black Spot
Level: Psion/Wilder 2
Display: Material and visual; see text
Manifesting Time: 1 standard action
Range: Close (25 ft. +5 ft./level)
Target: One creature
Duration: 1 min./level and permanent; see text
Saving Throw: Will negates
Power Resistance: Yes
Power Points: 3

Some might try to keep their soul clean of the taint, it is often that righteous zeal that allows a black spot to form. Of course, it helps if you give it a little prod in the right direction. You reach out for the tainted aura that surrounds you and pump it full of psionic power, causing it to temporarily materialize as a faint black cloud. A tendril of this inky blackness shoots off, striking at your target’s mind. If the subject fails its save, it is sickened for 1 minute per level of the manifester and gains 1d4 points of depravity. If the subject was previously untainted, it gains the prophetic symptom, and will thereafter proclaim events that it believes will occur as part of the Un-Blasphemy, even if it has no knowledge of the Archimon.
Augment: For every 2 additional power points you spend, this power’s number of targets and DC both increase by 1.

Daedalus Archimon, He Who is Not a God; Not Even Started

Thoughts so far:
I originally gave it a poor base attack bonus, but I wanted to make entry worth it for psychic warriors and wilders, so I improved it to average.
I made rebuking based on the key manifesting score so that wilders wouldn't have an unfair advantage.
Rebuking is also based on total manifester level so that you aren't forced to give up a manifesting level in exchange for a bunch of nothing; I may change it to half levels in other classes.
I honestly have no clue how powerful the rebuking abilities are. Planar turning is an epic feat, but elemental clerics can already turn/rebuke elemental at first level. On the other hand, the fiendbinder class pretty much centers on doing this, so I may need to change some things about it (sure, you can command a bunch of hezrous to grant you wishes, but they'll all be monkey pawed). Turning tainted creatures as a whole already exists in the Purifier of the Hallowed Doctrine PrC (generally considered weak-ish). It could be assumed that you can use special destroy undead class features to do destroy tainted creatures, which includes evil outsiders, so I'm guessing that commanding is completely viable, though DMs should remember that evil outsiders are generally hateful :D.
Necropsi Focus and Greater NF are there to help alleviate the lost manifester levels, but they may just be excessive.
The new powers are available to all classes, though for other classes, it requires a feat, which will probably cause Wisdom drain, like the feat that let you cast far realm spells in Dragon.
Daedalus (LN), when he's statted, will have 3 avatars (Myshael - NG, Hamon - CN, Jack - LE) , which can serve alternatively as patrons or archenemies in a game involving a lot of planar travel.