View Full Version : Psion/Planar Vanguard advice needed (3.5 Game)

2008-09-17, 02:46 PM
Need advice for a 3.5 character. He's starting at 13th level and will be a psion, most likely taking the 3.0 prestige class Planar Vanguard.
Keep in mind to forget the stuff about attack/defense modes from that class.
His race will most likely be a campaign specific gnome race that gets -2 Str, -2 Dex, -2 Con, +6 Int, +4 Wis with a 10ft speed, 30ft swim speed, and a few other small bonuses with a +2 LA.
You can suggest another race, but keep in mind Kalashtar, Xeph, and Elan are not allowed.
The campaign is purely psionics (no magic) and while I have some experience with minor uses of psionics (soulknife and the like), this will be my first psychic full caster character.

2008-09-17, 03:07 PM
I'd suggest posting here for psionic stuff: on psionics board on Wizards board, they always helped me...

But I can try:
Why Psionic Vanguard (which book is that from)?

2008-09-18, 12:40 AM
Planar Vanguard can be found in the Mind's Eye article on the WOTC website.
I wanted to use that, because it's awesome for planes travelers.

Crazy Scot
2008-09-18, 05:10 AM
Okay, here is another option you can look at. It looks like you are starting out at level 15 (13 levels, with a +2 LA race). While the size and Int bonus will greatly help a character, there is IMHO a better option for a level 15 build. I will try to outline it below, but at 16th level you become nigh unstoppable.

Race: Warforged (I know they don't get an Int bonus, but stick with me here, the key is that they don't need to sleep. If you can find a way to get a different race not to need to sleep that will work too, but not needing to sleep is the key to avoiding too much DM intervention.)
Build: Psion 5 / Metamind 10
Feats: Psicrystal Affinity [XPH, required for Metamind], Expanded Knowledge (Schism) [XPH], Expanded Knowledge (Temporal Reiteration) [CP], and Practiced Manifester [CP]. *NOTE 1: if you go Telepathy or Psychoportation you won't need one of the Expanded Knowledge feats. Note 2: if you take Practiced Manifester twice you can use the combo below at 15th level.*

How this works:
Activate your 10th level Metamind power "Font of Power" which gives you unlimited pp for 1 minute (10 rounds). Next round, use a standard action to manifest the Schism power, use a swift action to manifest Temporal Reiteration. Next round, tell your "second" mind (from Schism) to continually manifest Temporal Reiteration until told otherwise (and never stop the combo). ***What this does is give you unlimited power points for as long as you maintain this combination, and as long as you don't sleep, the combination won't stop. Now you are free to do/manifest whatever you darn well please without hinderance or lack of pp.***

Now, since the above combo makes any ongoing effect on you have an infinite duration (as long as you keep it going), you can have friendly manifesters manifest powers on you. And as long as they have a duration longer than Instant, they will also continue indefinitely. Or, you can get power stones and manifest them yourself. With the latter option, you can use powers from other power lists with UPD, if you bump it up high enough. Some powers to look at: Adapt Body, Animal Affinity (x6, once for each stat), Aura Sight (if you want), Biofeedback (gain DR), Body Equilibrium (can walk on any surface), Chameleon (improves Hide), etc . Basically, in a magic and psionic world, here would be where you would have all your buffs cast on you from all available sources, and then they would never run out. And as long as you don't have to sleep, the cycle shouldn't be broken until you say otherwise.

One thing to ask your DM, if you got your hands on the power Timeless Body [XPH p.138, 9th level Psion/Wilder power], ask him about how the duration would work. The duration of the power in the block at the top says "1 round", but the block text says that it lasts until the end of your next turn. Ask him how Temporal Reiteration applies to this. Unless he reads the power otherwise, TR should apply to TB as well, making the duration longer. The key for this would be to make TB the [I]VERY LAST buff you manifest on yourself (and then you will probably need a power stone to get it any time soon). And to use it from a power stone (cost: 3,825 gp), you would need to make a Psicraft 24 check, need an Int of 19, and make a Manifester level check of 18 (1d20 + manifester level (14 or 15)) meaning you only need a 4 or above to use it. Note: If you use TB with the above combination, you now have unlimited power points, and your body ignores all harmful and helpful effects, making you invulnerable to all attacks and powers, for as long as you maintain the loop above. :smallbiggrin:

Okay, yes, I know this is broken. I also know that there are ways of stopping it (Dispel Psionics or an anti-psionics area). But it is still fun to hypothesize about.

A note about general Psionics:
One of the largest problems with Psionics is pp management, meaning not burning all your pp in the first encounter, saving enough for the end of the day, and at the same time not leaving your friends out to dry. That being said, there are a few things to help you along that road. In the book Races of Stone there is a feat called Earth Power that says as long as you are psionically focused and standing on earth/stone you get to reduce the pp cost of any power manifested by 1 pp to a minimum of 0. Additionally, in the XPH there is an item called the Torc of Power Preservation which reduces the cost of manifesting by 1 pp to a minimum of 1. These two stack with each other, so if you had both, most of your powers per day would be at -2 pp cost, meaning more powers / day. Also, if you have the gold to burn, the Torc (which takes up the "amulet" slot on your body) could be enchanted with the same effect multiple times reducing the cost by an additional 1 pp fore each enchantment.
Even without the Torc, though, the feat is definitely worth the dip, and will pay off with HUGE dividends. It alone means you can pop off 1 pp powers all day without burning a single pp. But, you might say 1 pp powers aren't all that great. I would argue that there are some great level 1 powers that can get you out of/around most situations (try looking at Attraction [XPH]). "By the way [guard's name], did you hear about the king's right boot? Isn't pretty cool? Why don't you go check on that, and I will watch your post. You say it isn't that cool? Well, how about his left one? How about the [enter random item]?" (It is bound to work eventually:smallsmile:)

2008-09-18, 03:42 PM
The character is 13th level 11 levels +2 LA
I am really hoping more for something useful and powerful as opposed to right out broken, I don't want something that would make a normal persons head explode.

Crazy Scot
2008-09-19, 05:45 AM
If you want useful as opposed to broken, look at the last paragraph or so of my last post. It breaks down how to boost/increasing the survivability your psionic character without breaking it.

As to your class choices, if you want to go with PV then go for it. Unfortunately I am at work and can't access the wotc website to check it out for myself (stupid internet security issues!:smallfurious:). If you want other suggestions for your character, it would help to have a better idea of what you want him/her to be. Where do you want your focus to be? Do you want to be the blaster at the back? Do you want to be able to buff yourself and wade into combat? Do you want to be sneaky, and find ways to avoid conflict as opposed to blasting down every door you meet? Tell us what kind of character path you want, and then we can give better suggestions to you.

Fun psionic PrC that I like:
Flayerspawn Psychic [Complete Psionic] (if you want to take after the ultimate psionic creature - the Mind Flayer, gain "mind blast" and many other abilities but you only get +6 manifester levels/10 PrC levels)

Diamond Dragon [Dragon Magic] (take after dragons, gain claws, breath weapon, tail, wings, frightful presence, and 8/10 manifester level progression)

Metamind [Expanded Psionics Handbook] (it can be nice to have the extra pp, and free powers per day, but the 5/10 progression really hurts, so not my favorite)

Additionally, if you DM is okaying 3.0 edition books (PV is 3.0), ask about Savage Species. Savage Species came out within a month or two of the release of 3.5, so is pretty close to the new product line while still being "3.0" material. With your DM's permission, take a look at the PrC Illithid Savant, and see if Flayerspawn Psychic would let you qualify (normally your race would have to be Illithid (a.k.a. Mind Flayer), but with the heritage feats and taking the Flayerspawn Psychic PrC he might let that slide). If he okays that, take it without hesitation. It is not broken like the Metamind combination listed in my first posting, but you can get some fun abilities out of it none the less. Basically, you have to be willing to eat brains, but when you do you gain some of the abilities of the creature/character who's brain you ate. Not a lot, but little by little it starts to add up. And if you focus on eating the brain from other psionic creatures, you will be in good shape with it. Definitely check it out, if it is allowed.

2008-09-19, 06:26 AM
to start with, avoid the metamind, its a trap, if you take it you will actualy end up with less pp and powers than if you just took straight psion.

personaly i would recomend being a human psion 13, or psion8 illithid slayer5, because those additional manifester levels will give you more than you get from having a level adjustment.

that aside, you could then either have fun with making your char a Gish, and use temporal acceleration to buff up with things like metamorphis, while moving into melee range to unleash a full attack on your unsuspecting opponent.

or you could take a couple of blasty powers, the Empower feat and then have fun with a kinetist, its all up to you.

just make sure you take a broad range of powers, that lets you cover all the eventualities.