"From the depths of the minds I summon thee. Exist once more, joined to my mind. Answer my call."
- The summoning mantra used by Alanix Fireblood, a Goetic Collectivist.
The Goetic Collectivists believe that there's a simple explanation for why no one has found any way to plane shift or otherwise enter the realm of vestiges: the idea that they exist in the "Void" isn't the whole story. Vestiges exist not in some physical realm, but rather the remains of their thoughts and the memories of their existence exist in the collective unconsciousness of beings. According to the Collectivists, this explains many other aspects of vestiges. For example, some vestiges seem to have origins which are inconsistent with the known history of the world, and others appear to even have arisen from events that have not yet come to pass. For those who have studied the extra-temporal nature of the collective unconsciousness, this makes complete sense.
A Collectivist is not like an Anima Mage who steals power from vestiges, or a Pact Scholar who tries to study vestiges as a whole. Rather a Collectivist accepts the strange nature of vestiges, melds their consciousness together with that of the vestige and the collective as a whole. The relationship is one of joining and mutual understanding.
Powers: Able to manifest a psionic power of at least first level.
Binding: Able to bind a first level vestige.
Special: The sum of the highest level vestige one can bind and the highest level psionic power one can manifest must be at least four.
The Goetic Collective's class skills (and the key ability for each skill) are Autohypnosis (Wis), Bluff (Cha), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Decipher Script (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Gather Information (Cha), Knowledge(arcana) (Int), Knowledge(psionics) (Int). )Knowledge(religion) (Int), Knowledge (the planes) (Int), Psicraft (Int), and Sense Motive (Wis).
Skills Points at Each Level: 2 + int
Hit Dice: d6
Level Base Attack Bonus Fort Save Ref Save Will Save Special Manifesting/Binding 1st +0 +0 +0 +2 Dream Communion +2, Sensory Integration +1 level binding/+1 level manifesting 2nd +1 +0 +0 +3 Mindbinding, Residual Thoughts +1 level binding/+1 level manifesting 3rd +1 +1 +1 +3 Echoes of Ten Thousand Futures +1 level of existing arcane spellcasting class 4th +2 +1 +1 +4 Draw Forth Their Power, Dream Communion +2 +1 level binding/+1 level manifesting 5th +2 +1 +1 +4 Vestigial Knowledge +1 level binding/+1 level manifesting 6th +3 +2 +2 +5 Swift Binding +1 level binding/+1 level manifesting 7th +3 +2 +2 +5 Dream Communion +2 +1 level binding/+1 level manifesting 8th +4 +2 +2 +6 Vestige Contact +1 level binding/+1 level manifesting 9th +4 +3 +3 +6 - +1 level binding/+1 level manifesting 10th +5 +3 +3 +7 Dream Communion +2, Mastery of the Goetic Collective +1 level binding/+1 level manifesting
Weapon and Armor Proficiencies: A Goetic Collectivist gains no weapons or armor proficiencies.
Manifesting/Binding: When a new Collectivist level is gained, the character
gains additional power points per day, an increase in maximum manifester level, and access to new powers as if they had also gained a level in whatever manifesting class they belonged to before they added the prestige class. They do not, however, gain any other benefit a character of that class would have gained (bonus feats, metapsionic or item creation feats, and so on). This essentially means that the player adds the level of Goetic Collectivist to the level of whatever manifesting class the character has, then determines power points per day, powers known, and manifester level accordingly.
If a character had more than one manifesting class before becoming a Collectivist, they must decide to which class to add the new level of Collectivist for the purpose of determining power points per day, powers known, and manifester level.
At each Collectivist level, the Collectivist's soul binding ability improves as if they had also gained a level in the binder class. The Collectivist levels and binder levels stack for purposes of determining binding checks, the effectiveness of vestige granted abilities, the ability to bind higher level vestiges, and the number of vestiges they can bind. They do not gain any other benefits a binder would have gained.
Dream Communion(ex): At first level, when a Goetic Collectivist falls asleep their mind joins partially with the collective unconsciousness. This communion leaves them with small bits of knowledge. When a Collectivist gets eight hours of sleep they may choose 1 skill. They get a +2 insight bonus to that skill. At 4th level the Collectivist may choose two skills, at 7th level three skills, and at 10th level 4 skills. If a Collectivist chooses the same skill more than once then the bonus stacks. These bonuses last for 24 hours or until the next time they sleep for eight hours. A Collectivist who does not dream, or is incapable or unwilling to sleep may instead spend eight hours meditating to gain the benefits of this ability.
Initiate of the Goetic Collective(Su): At first level, a Collectivist gains the ability to use their mental power to amplify the effects of their vestiges. Whenever a Collectivist uses a vestige-granted ability that allows a save the Collectivist may expend their psionic focus to increase the save DC by 2. Also, they gain other abilities specific to each vestige as detailed below; these abilities apply only when the Collectivist is bound to that vestige.
Sensory Integration(ex): At first level, a Goetic Collectivist learns to better integrate their own senses with those of the vestiges they bind to themselves. This gives two advantages. First, the vestiges own awareness extends to the Collectivist: the Collectivist adds twice the number of vestiges bound as a bonus to all Spot, Search and Listen checks. Second, this sensory integration makes binding with a Collectivist a more tempting prospect for vestiges. A Collectivist gains a bonus equal to class level which they add to all binding checks to bind a vestige (this does not apply to binding checks to do anything else, such as a binding check to use the Expel Vestige feat).
Mindbinding(Su): At second level, a Goetic Collectivist learns how to open their mind to allow themselves to bind more vestiges to themselves simultaneously. A Collectivist of at least second level may bind any number of additional vestiges without these vestiges counting against their maximum number of vestiges bound. However, the sum of the levels of the vestiges bound this way cannot exceed half their class level. For example, a 6th level Collectivist could bind three extra first level vestiges, or an extra first level vestige and an extra second level vestige, or a single extra third level vestige.
Residual Thoughts(Su): At second level, a Goetic Collectivist can reach into the collective unconsciousness to learn more about a vestige seal. When they come into physical contact with a vestige's seal, the Collectivist is instantly aware if the seal has been used to bind a vestige in the last week, and if so, they instantly see the binding event replayed in their mind; even if the binding took time, they see the entire process played out in their mind instantly. When they do so, they also learn what if any special requirements the vestige has and its approximate power level (letting them know if it is a level they could successfully bind).
Echoes of Ten Thousand Futures(ex): Time works differently in the realm where the vestiges exist; some beings which are apparently vestiges now may not yet become vestiges until later in some possible future. At 3rd level, when a Collectivist uses the Dream Communion ability, either by dreaming or by accessing the collective unconsciousness via a trance, the Collectivist gains an insight into how their own story might end in some of those possible futures. Once daily may when a Collectivist fails a saving throw, they may declare that they foresaw this event. This allows the Collectivist to reroll that failed save and add an insight bonus to the new roll equal to class level. Using this ability does not take an action, essentially the player retroactively decides that this was the event foreseen.
Draw Forth Their Power(ex): At fourth level, a Collectivist learns to focus their mind, drawing forth more power from a vestige in an emergency. A Collectivist may expend their psionic focus and use a vestige-granted ability that normally has a five round waiting period without waiting for that waiting period to elapse. The Collectivist may use this ability at most once an encounter. In non-combat contexts they may take one minute of calm meditation before they are again able to use this ability. Note that a Collectivist may also apply this ability to abilities from other classes which explicitly involve vestiges and has a five round waiting period (such as the Vestige's Protection, Vestige's Power and Vestige's Surge class feature of the Knight of the Sacred Seal)
Vestigial Knowledge (ex): At fifth level, a Collectivist learns to gain some amount of psionic knowledge and power from the vestiges they have bound. Whenever the Collectivist is bound to that Vestige, they gain a corresponding feat or psionic power known. These feats or powers are specific to each vestige and are detailed below. If the vestige grants a feat, the Collectivist does not need to meet any prerequisites for that feat. If the vestige grants a power, then the Collectivist is unable to use that power unless they can manifest a power of at least that level; this means there must be a specific power of that level they are already able to manifest, not that they could in theory have a high enough manifester level to manifest that power. The power or feat only remains when they are bound to that vestige. Powers gained this way cannot be transferred via abilities like Psychic Chirurgery, since the Collectivist does not truly know the power in full detail.
Swift Binding(ex): At sixth level, a Collectivist may bind a vestige with barely a thought and a burst of mental power. If there are special requirements for the seal they must still be met, but otherwise, no seal is required when using this ability. When using this ability, binding takes only a free action. The Collectivist must also expend their psionic focus and pay power points equal to twice the vestige's level. When a Collectivist does this, any being within 30 feet of the Collectivist sees in their mind's eye a brief flash of the seal of the vestige in question, with enough detail that they could retrace it to use as a binding seal. A Collectivist cannot spend more power points on this ability than their manifester level, and so they may not be able to use this ability to bind some of their highest level vestiges.
Vestige Contact(ex): Whenever a Collectivist uses a telepathic power which targets a being currently bound to a vestige, they are aware of how many vestiges the being is connected to. Furthermore, they can use the connection to the collective unconsciousness to more effectively reach into the other being's mind. Any such target takes as a penalty to its save the number of vestiges the target has currently bound, and the Collectivist gains a bonus to penetrate power resistance equal to twice that number.
Mastery of the Goetic Collective(ex): At tenth level, you reach the true pinnacle of union with the collective unconsciousness. This has three benefits.
First, a Collectivist add their levels in any psionic class or prestige class that does not advance binding to their effective binder level for for binder checks and for the the numerical effects of vestiges (but not for other features such as the maximum number of vestiges bound or the highest level vestiges one can bind).
Second, the Collectivist add any levels in binder or any levels in any non-psionic binding advancing class to their effective manifester level. Neither of these additions may push the Collectivist's effective manifester or binder level above their character level.
Third, the Collectivist gains additional benefits specific to each vestige as detailed below. These benefits apply only when that vestige is bound to the Collectivist.
Playing a Goetic Collectivist
Collectivists combine two sets of powers, both of which are sometimes feared and misunderstood. As a result, many Collectivists are quiet about the nature of their abilities. One may emphasize the psionic nature of one's powers in locations where such powers are more acceptable. More than even other binders, one will likely have an interest int the lore of vestiges since the more vestiges one knows about, the more psionic abilities one has.
Combat: A Collectivist is likely to be less of a front-line combatant than a regular binder. However, enough of their abilities, especially at higher levels are well-suited for combat. They may need to be more careful due to their slightly lower hit point totals.
Advancement: Goetic Collectivists are highly interested in both psionic and binder lore. They will search out for even small scraps of knowledge about how to combine their power. Many will take feats such as Practiced Manifesting in order to make the most out of both of their ability sets.
Resources: The Goetic Collectivists exist as members in many other psionic or binder focused organizations. A growing segment of the Theurgian Society (detailed in Tome of Magic) are practitioners of the methods of the Collectivists. Some Collectivist have themselves formed into a loose-nit group known as the "Coven of the Joined Mind" which shares discoveries concerning both psionics and pact magic.
Goetic Collectivists in the world
"These Goetic Collectivists are as bad as other binders; in some respects they are worse. They not only turn to follows these so-called vestiges but they also think they are smarter than everyone else too." - Telfana Silverblade, an elven paladin.
The Goetic Collectivists have been around since close to the time of Syfal. Some scholars have pointed to certain legends as evidence that Goetic Collectivists actually predate Syfal, but since Syfal is widely considered to be the first binder, this claim in generally met wit skepticism. It is only in the last few years as there has been some growing acceptance of binders that the Collectivist have begun to spread their teachings beyond a few people.
Notable Collectivists: Telas the Englightened One (CN, Human Binder 3/Psion (Telepath) 3/Goetic Collectivist 3 ) is a fairly arrogant fellow. He has become prominent not for his level of power, or his own understanding (his title of "Enlightened One" is entirely self-bestowed), but for his willingness to publicly spread the knowledge of binding as well as how it connects to the collective unconscious. He has been known to show up in cities and spray paint the simpler vestiges seals on the sides of temples. At this point, some other binders have asked him to calm down (to no avail), and some anima mages have engaged in less polite statements to him. Apparently some members of the Coven of the Joined Mind have made a betting pool for whether Telas will be killed by the anima mages, or the Order of Seropaenes or some other group.
Dala of House Athiel (LG, Half-Elf Psion(Kinetcist) 5/Binder 1/Goetic Collectivist 8) is one of the most powerful and knowledgeable Collectivists known. Her mother comes from a prominent elven family who accepted her despite her parentage. Neither Dala's mother's family nor her father's family have any noticeable history of psionic power, and she wonders if her power arose from some strange combination of her blood-lines. Dala's family protects her despite her public openness about her use of pact magic, and Dala is painfully aware that this is one more personal attribute which could have forced her into exile. She returns that awareness with a fierce loyalty to the family, and more than one other noble house has found this out to their detriment. Dala is now engaging in active correspondence with Delan Senav as they both suspect that some aspects of how vestiges function may reveal information about the nature of the gods themselves, and that this may help explain why out of all the different forms of magic, organized religion seems to take such a dim view of binding.
Galar Solaron (NG Human Wizard 1/Binder 3/Pact Scholar 2/Psion 2/Goetic Collectivist 4/Cerebemancer 1) is a powerful and talented mage who might be more powerful if he could focus on just one or two forms of power. By his own description he is interested in all forms of magic. Despite his eccentricity, many young Collectivists look to him as as a mentor whose advice and willingness to share his understanding of pact magic has proven very helpful.
Duke Tomas Ilian (NE Human vampire Binder 4/Psychic Warrior 2/Goetic Collectivist 4) is a powerful vampire nobleman who rules over the small island of Ilian. The people of the island know that he is some form of spellcaster but his vampiric nature is suspected by only a few. The nature of the Duke's vampirism is closely connected to a curse which prevents him from leaving the island, and he strives to make his powers great enough to break the curse. In the meantime, his own inability to leave has not stopped him from waging small wars of aggression on neighboring islands.
Organizations: While Collectivists appear in many binder organizations, they are most prominent in the Theurgian Society. The only major organization devoted to the Collectivist themselves is the Coven of the Joined Mind, and even that organization has welcomed some binders and psionists who share their interests even if they are not Collectivists themselves. There are rumors that a secret group of Collectivist actually exists within the clergy of Vecna itself. But this is idea which one should probably not lend much credence.
Goetic Collective Feats
Scholar of the Goetic Collective
Both the Pact Scholar and the Goetic Collectivist study the power of vestiges. You have studied the methods of both.
Prerequisites: At least one level in Goetic Collectivist and at least one level in Pact Scholar.
Benefit: This feat provides two benefits. First, you add 1 to caster level and save DC of any spell you get from Pact Scholar as long as you have psionic focus and are bound to at least one vestige. These bonuses become +2 if you expend focus when casting the spell.
Second, you add levels in Pact Scholar to your effective Goetic Collectivist class level for purposes of the benefits of the Mindbinding, Sensory Integration, Echoes of Ten Thousand Futures, and Dream Communion class features. . This does not grant those class features if you do not already have them. If this were to push your effective Goetic Collectivist class level above ten, then the abilities continue to increase accordingly (and in the case of Dream Communion, continuing the progression every three levels).
You have studied the ways of the Goetic Collectivist even as your own loyalty is closely connected with a specific vestige, and you focus on following the ideology of that vestige in combat.
Prerequisites: At least one level in Goetic Collectivist and at least two levels in Knight of the Sacred Seal, BAB +8
Benefit: This feat provides three benefits. First, as long as you are bound to your Patron Vestige, you add levels in Knight of the Sacred Seal to your effective Goetic Collectivist class level for purposes of the benefits of the Mindbinding, Sensory Integration, Echoes of Ten Thousand Futures, and Dream Communion class features. . This does not grant those class features if you do not already have them. If this were to push your effective Goetic Collectivist class level above ten, then the abilities continue to increase accordingly (and in the case of Dream Communion, continuing the progression every three levels).
Second, you may use the Vestige's Protection or Vestige's Power class features as a free action rather than as a swift action. Doing so requires expending your psionic focus.
Third, you treat Psicraft and Knowledge(Psionics) as class skills for Knight of the Sacred Seal. If you had previously spend skill points at a 2-1 ratio for either of these skills when advancing as a Knight of the Sacred Seal, you may immediately reallocate those points as if you had spent them on class skills.