View Full Version : [Psionics] (M I C) The Awakening

2006-06-12, 09:10 AM
Public Notice
Resignation of Tenure
Loreman Ulwisk
Mage-President of the Arcane Collegiate
Reader of the Mystical Society
Licensed Handler of Magical Creatures in the Kingdom of Alchen
et c.

Only a fool ever believes he knows a thing completely.

I accounted myself a great scholar once, completely familiar with the ways of the mind. I studied the arcane arts, and somewhat of the divine. It was I who settled the long-standing question of how unschooled sorcerers could shape magic to their will. I became famous for healing afflictions of the brain.

I had turned my attention to creatures I considered greater, more mysterious than the humans and elves and gnomes that had been my main interest; I thought I knew them completely. First I studied the fey; then, the dragons. I documented their magical powers, I studied their workings, and at last I reproduced them. I believed, as did many others, there was no being whose powers could not be learnt and imitated with a spell.

I turned then to the small number of creatures whose powers had long remained a mystery to even the most learned of my peers; my first choice was the sinister intellect devourer, but I had difficulty in obtaining specimens. I could do little more than confirm the existence of their odd powers, not investigate their source.

On the night I was to travel to another city and take possession of a live creature, a woman came to my door. Her child, she said, was sick, and showing strange powers. I sat her down and explained the gift of sorcery to her, and how it first manifested in the young, as I had to many fearful mothers before her. As had many before her, she insisted I come and look at her child. Despite the delay to my journey, I acquiesced.

When I came to her home, the child in question -- a young girl, younger than most who developed sorcerous powers -- was immediately obvious. Twin beams of light shone forth from her eyes, lighting up the opposite wall. She crouched in a corner, rocking on her heels, while her brothers and sisters huddled together, well away from her. A low hum filled the room.

All my examinations revealed little; it was not a power I had seen before, and though it appeared to be affecting the flow of magic around her, I could not see where or how she was drawing on that flow. The light faded in a few minutes, and the girl fell asleep.

I begged leave to examine her again on the morrow; I sent a messenger with my apologies about the intellect devourer.

I learnt little from the girl, who never showed any unusual abilities except those beams of light. I wrote of my findings, and heard back from colleagues who had similar cases of their own.

We were all taken aback when Coristan, once a pupil of mine, proved a link between the size-altering power of the intellect devourer, and one shown by a young man he was examining. (And he used my intellect devourer specimen to do it!) Whatever this power's source, it had long existed in certain monstrous beasts; but now it was appearing among our own kind. We were observing an awakening.

I had an opportunity to speak to Coristan's young subject myself. The man described the process as being simply an exercise of his imagination; he concentrated on the idea of being smaller, and lo, through pure mental effort he became smaller!

This was not magic as we knew it; this was something new. I call it mentalism. (Coristan calls it 'psionics', but I don't expect that that name shall find much favour.) Some mentalists are beginning to make a formal study of their own powers, and develop them much as we wizards study and train our own mastery. I fear they have overtaken me in the matter of intellect devourers.

I have been a fool, and I therefore resign my tenure at this institution. My remaining years shall be devoted to the further study of mentalism. I look forward to the provision of my pension...

-- Loreman Ulwisk, now former Mage-President of the Arcane Collegiate, et c.

So, that's the 'mythology'. The overall theme is discovery of psionic powers, and learning to use them. There will probably not be any race, creature, feat, power, or prestige class. The item was a flash of inspiration and I wrote up a mythology just 'cause I can. ;D

2006-06-12, 09:13 AM
Soul Hilt
This item appears to be a simple sword hilt, although different examples may be more or less ornate. They are used by soulknives of certain traditions as a focus for their mind blade powers. Indeed, many soulknives who learn with a soul hilt are unaware that the power comes from themselves, rather than the hilt.

A character who uses a soul hilt with his mind blade class feature must do so from the very first time he materialises the blade. He gains psychic strike and mind blade enhancement class features one level earlier than normal. However, he is unable to throw or shape his mindblade. He cannot materialise the blade without the hilt, and so is vulnerable to being disarmed.

Dependency on the soul hilt can be unlearnt, but usually only happens in times of great crisis, when the soulknife needs to materialise a mind blade without the hilt. Upon discovering this ability, the soulknife never again needs the hilt (and cannot use it), but loses its benefits -- if it let him access a class feature that he could not otherwise have attained, he must gain the required level normally to learn to make it happen without the soul hilt as a focus. Other class features become accessible without penalty, although the soulknife may need to spend a short time exploring the possibilities of this unshackled mind blade.

Faint metacreativity; ML 1st; Craft Universal Item, creator must be a soulknife; Price 75gp

Example: Terry, a 1st-level soulknife, was trained with a soul hilt. He has the mind blade, weapon focus (mind blade), and wild talent class features, but needs to have the soul hilt in hand to materialise a mind blade. At 2nd level, he gains access to psychic strike +1d8, but cannot throw his mind blade. At 3rd level, he can materialise a +1 mind blade. At 5th level, he gets free draw and mind blade enhancement +1, but not shape mind blade.

While fighting for his life, Terry is stunned and drops his soul hilt. An enemy kicks it away, down a deep well. Thinking himself doomed but prepared to go down fighting, Terry raises his hands to strike a blow... and finds his mind blade materialising in his empty hand! Terry lives to fight another day, and quickly learns that he can throw this hiltless mind blade, and shape it into other weapon forms. However, as he is still a 5th-level soulknife, he must gain another level of experience before he can use the mind blade enhancement +1 class feature without a hilt to focus on.

2006-06-12, 10:32 AM
Children with the 'gift' of psionics are often a sore trial to their bewildered parents. Feeling isolated from those around them, the child's mind will often wander... in very literal ways.

Size/Type: Diminutive Construct
Hit Dice: 1d10 (5 hp)
Initiative: +4
Speed: Fly 30 ft. (perfect) (6 squares)
Armor Class: 16 (+4 size, +2 Dex), touch 16, flat-footed 14
Base Attack/Grapple: +0/-17
Attack: --
Full Attack: --
Space/Reach: 1 ft./0 ft.
Special Attacks: Fascinate
Special Qualities: Construct traits, darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision, mind merge
Saves: Fort +0, Ref +5, Will +3
Abilities: Str 1, Dex 15, Con --, Int --, Wis 15, Cha 15
Skills: --
Feats: --
Environment: Any
Organization: Solitary or cloud (2-5)
Challenge Rating: 1/4
Treasure: None
Alignment: Always neutral
Advancement: --
Level Adjustment: --

Softly glowing orbs that float through the air, quirii are the embodiment of childish curiosity. Nobody is quite sure whether a quirius emerges from the mind of the child it associates with, or whether it is simply a bubble of psychic energy that was drawn to the child, but each quirius is paired with a child who displays emerging psionic powers. Being a recent phenomenon, few children associated with quirii have yet grown up; those who have seem to scarcely remember ever having anything to do with a quirius, which disappears from their life at about the onset of adolescence.

Quirii have been known to flock together, like children meeting up to play and explore. They are easily disturbed, and if treated with hostility they will usually attempt to flee back to their children. Destroying a quirius is a despicable act that greatly traumatises the child.

Fascinate (Su)
A quirius hums softly and occasionally seems to tinkle with childlike laughter; the effect is quite profound on creatures around it. If the curious quirius stops to observe a group of creatures, any creatures within 30ft being observed must make Will saves (DC 12) or be fascinated, while the quirius observes for 1d4 rounds. If a creature succeeds on its saving throw, it is not subject to the fascinate ability of that quirius for 24 hours.

Mind Merge (Su)
Quirii flit about observing people and places, then return to their child and disappear into the child's head. The quirius seems to replay its observations as if the child was there in person; the transfer of memories takes about half as long as the actual observation did. Many a child has gotten into trouble for the things they have inadvertently spied upon by means of a quirius.

Even if the quirius is destroyed, some fragment or psychic ripple seems to make its way back to the child. The child will be aware of the quirius' demise, and can recognise the person or people responsible -- anyone whom the quirius observed acting hostile toward itself in its last 1 round of existence. The child must make a DC 12 Will save or have his or her Charisma score reduced to 0, slipping into a coma. This is ability damage and heals normally.

The Vorpal Tribble
2006-06-18, 09:04 AM
Great intro ;)

I'm a bit skeptical of the Soul Hilt however. Though it'd be nice to have those abilities one level earlier, not being able to throw it and being disarmable is a sore blow if once you learn not to use it you 'can't' use it anymore... I dunno, I'd be much happier if you could still use it afterwards. I like the idea of a hilt that lets you use it or not use it, enhancing the blade, with positives and negatives depending on what you do.

That'd jack up the price, but it'd be a much more usable, and to me, more worthwhile purchase.

The Glyphstone
2006-06-19, 05:32 AM
Agreed - reading the "soulknives are underpowered" thread in Gaming, it seems the general opinion is that the flexibility of a mind blade, and the ability to always have one at hand, are the only things a Soulknife has going for them. the Soul Hilt takes away both of them, for a slightly minor increase to power. See if you can work in Vorpal's suggestion to make it optional.

2006-06-19, 05:49 AM
I'll see what I can do. The idea for a soulknife who needed (or thought he needed) his 'magic' swordhilt to make the glowy blade appear predates the actual writeup, so the idea was to make it about balanced in benefits vs penalties, and otherwise have it be a cheap, almost mundane item. If it's that underpowering, though...

It'd probably be easier to just give it more benefits. Making it optional at all times ruins the flavour, and making it optional after discovering you don't need it means there really ought to be a mechanic for how to make that discovery; otherwise players will just 'discover' it as soon as they can.