The Dark Mind
”Every dark corner of our mind has potential.”
-Talias Versago, Dark Mind

Every synapse, every deep and dark corner of the mind has potential for use. A Dark Mind uses the power of shadows to continually put their synapses to work. Where no information would be transfered, however, shadows of thoughts manifest to fill the gap. Some would call them insane, for indeed, the strain of continual thought, even through sleep, does effect them. They know the truth, however. They know that they have unlocked their entire mind.

The most common dark minds are psions, but psychic warriors and wilders have no real problems qualifying for its prerequisites. All that is really required is the desire to fill the mind, and the willingness to deal with what comes of doing so.

Entry Requirements
Skills: Knowledge (psionics) 8 ranks, Knowledge (the planes) 4 ranks, Concentration 8 ranks
Psionics: Able to manifest 2nd-level powers.
Special: Must have been exposed to shadow at some point prior to taking this class, either through travel on the Plane of Shadow, being subject to a mystery or a spell with the shadow subschool, or through physical contact with a shadow or dark creature.

Level   Base     Fort   Ref    Will   Special                                     Mysteries
        Attack   Save   Save   Save
1        +0       +2     +0     +2     Mental Torment, Apprentice Mysteries,       +1 level of existing manifesting class
                                       Mind Forced Open
2        +1       +3     +0     +3     Mental Shadow, Fundamental of Shadow        +1 level of existing manifesting class
3        +1       +3     +1     +3     Forced Awareness, Fundamental of Shadow     +1 level of existing manifesting class
4        +2       +4     +1     +4     Mind’s Shadow, Fundamental of Shadow        +1 level of existing manifesting class
5        +2       +4     +1     +4     Hollow Mind, Synergistic Thought            +1 level of existing manifesting class
                                       Fundamental of Shadow
Class Skills (2 + Int modifier per level): Concentration, Craft, Hide, Knowledge (psionics), Knowledge (the planes), Move Silently, Psicraft, Spot

As a dark mind, you force your mind open to get the greatest possible performance out of it.
Powers Known: When a new dark mind level is attained, the character gains additional power poins and access to new powers as if she had also gained a level in any one manifesting class she belonged to previously. She does not, however, gain any other benefit a character of that class would have gained. If a character had more than one manifesting class before she became a dark mind, she must decide to which class she adds each level of dark mind for purpose of determining power points per day, powers known, and manifester level.
Mysteries Known: You have the ability to cast a small number of mysteries. To cast a mystery, you must have an intelligence score of at least 10 + the mystery level, so if you have an intelligence score of 10 or lower, you cannot cast mysteries. High ability scores do not provide bonus mysteries. Saving throws against your mysteries have a DC of 10 + mystery level + your Int modifier.
Your selection of mysteries is extremely limited. You begin in this class knowing only a single 1st-level mystery. Every level afterward, you gain an additional mystery known. As with the shadowcaster class, you may not skip ahead in a given path. Your mysteries must all be drawn from an apprentice path, and you cast them all as arcane spells. You can use each mystery you know once per day. You gain a fundamental at 2nd level and every level afterwards, each of which is cast as a supernatural ability usable three times per day.
Mental Torment (Ex): The strain of having one’s brain continually used, even during one’s sleep, wears one down. You are continually fatigued and require 10 hours of sleep (or 4 hours of meditation) to regain health. This fatigue does not make the process of regaining spells or power points any more difficult than normal. Any effect that removes fatigue only works for 1d4 hours, after which time the condition returns. In addition, you gain Body Fuel as a bonus feat.
Mind Forced Open (Ex): Once per level each week, you may take 20 on any intelligence based check without expending any extra time.
Mental Shadow (Ex): Starting at 2nd level, you start to back up your mind with a shadowy copy. Whenever you become psionically focused, you remain that way until you have expended your psionic focus twice or until your power point reserve drops to 0.
Forced Awareness (Ex): One benefit of having two minds is that one can be more active at any given time. Starting at 3rd level, you no longer need to sleep, although you are still perpetually fatigued. The strain on the body is far greater, however, leaving the dark mind continually exhausted. The strain of exhaustion does not hinder the regaining of mysteries or power points.
Mind’s Shadow (Ex): Starting at 4th level, your shadow mind can operate individually for short periods of time. Whenever you take ability damage or ability drain to a mental ability score, you gain a temporary equal bonus to that ability score, which decreases by 1 point every hour. If your ability damage or ability drain is healed, simultaneously reduce your temporary bonus by the amount healed.
Hollow Mind (Ex): Starting at 5th level, you can hide your true mind behind your shadow mind. As a result, you are protected as if by the personal mind blank power.
Synergistic Thought (Ex): At 5th level, your dark mind is finally completed. As it forces awareness and works synergistically with the normal mind, all of the dark mind’s mental ability scores are increased by 2. Your health, however, has taken a real battering, lowering your constitution score by 2.

You have mastered the mind. You alone use every piece of it and have a second, shadowy copy to rely on. The mysteries behind thought are no longer mystery. Your actions now are your own, although many a dark mind has been driven insane by their perpetual fatigue. Without any further goal to look forward to beyond the full formation of your dark mind, you may choose your own destiny.
As a general rule of thumb, you are not allowed into shadow organizations, as your true allegiance remains with the mind. Psionic organizations scoff at your methods but praise your success nonetheless. Some hold you as a paragon, able to think through multiple minds.

Despite your increased mental capacity, your combat capabilities have not changed, with one exception. The addition of shadow magic grants you new abilities, abilities that do not require power points to activate. Although the mysteries will be pretty weak, they should not be discounted.

Your ways are always learned through experimentation. Even so, the willingness to learn is not enough. You must have also had some encounter with shadow, which leaves a kernel of darkness in your mind, which the dark mind expands.
Continual advancement is desirable for the dark mind, for to quite the path early is to take the strain of the class and not reap all of its benefits. Although you need not be any more careful than normal with your selection of powers, you should select your mysteries and fundamentals carefully.

The most reliable resource that a dark mind possesses is other dark minds. Although some psionic experts almost worship dark minds for their abilities, only another dark mind can truly appreciate the torment that they had to endure to go through. Make sure not to invest too much in these friends, however, for they can crack at a moment’s notice.
Magic and (to a greater extent) psionic items can also help you in your travels, wherever they may take you. Most useful among them are items that help offset your newfound physical frailness.

“Yes, I’m his friend. Or, at least I’m the first mind’s friend. The second mind is still deciding.”
-Derk Craigor, companion of a dark mind

The dark mind prestige class is a perfect class for those who wish to play an insane character while still being completely playable. This prestige class opens up a new horizon of role-playing opportunities. It gives the same advantages of the class from which they came, and gives them new ones as well, in the form of increased mental faculties and shadow magic.

Daily life is hard to define for a dark mind, as the process that generates their second mind is almost completely automatic after it is started. Some practice with shadow magic and psionics is usually stuck into the day somewhere. Otherwise, they live their day completely normally, albeit with some small (insane?) discrepancies. One common practice among many dark minds is an hour-long ritual of meditation, meant to quiet their mind for a short respite. Although this does not calculate to any in-game effect, it normally prolongs the onset of insanity in dark minds.

There are very few dark minds of note. The most famous is, or was, named Teka (his last name was lost to history). After completing the development of a second mind, he attempted what no one had ever tried before, to develop more. He opened a portal in his mind to the plane of shadows, hoping the shadows would flood in to develop infinite minds. Instead, both minds imploded into that portal, sending his thoughts out of his body and onto the plane of shadows. His minds merged with the plane, granting him a semblance of divinity. Even so, no dark mind envies the madness he found with the infinite minds he did indeed create for himself in the end.

Dark minds have varied success within shadow organizations. The Tenebrous Cabal does not let them join, as their shadow magic is a mere side effect to another endeavor. The Nightshade Covenant neither denies them membership nor greets them openly. The Votaries of Vecna allows them in with relative ease, so long as they try to dedicate themselves to shadow and the mind in equal part.

Most common folk get the impression that dark minds are both powerful and unstable. When they learn how the dark mind gets power, their views are proved correct. Most shadow magic users are indifferent or unfriendly towards dark minds, seeing them as accidental dabblers in the art, although more adept than a shadowsmith. Psionics-users are indifferent or friendly towards dark minds, as they respect their ability to think using two minds simultaneously.

Characters with ranks in Knowledge (psionics) or Knowledge (the planes) can research dark 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 10: Dark Minds are mentally unstable and physically frail psionics-users.
DC 15: Dark Minds flood every crevice of their mind with shadow, lending them some power with shadow magic.
DC 20: The Dark Mind eventually creates a second mind out of shadow, lending them several benefits.
A bardic knowledge check or a Gather Information check can reveal the same information as these Knowledge checks, but in each case the DC is 5 higher than the given value.

Dark Minds are rare, due to the required kernel of shadow that they need to pursue the path. Furthermore, their exhaustion often gives them a lethargic and antisocial view on the world. For these reasons, it is not too unbelievable that they have simply never run across a Dark Mind in the past.
Anyone who enjoys shadow magic, or deep role playing, would make a potentially good Dark Mind. As their powers aren’t specified, the player should enjoy their investment so long as you don’t take special measures to hinder them (such as placing them in a dungeon requiring many climb, swim, and jump checks to get through).

The Dark Mind is relatively easy to adapt. In a campaign without psionics, the power of the mind could instead be attributed to divination. A campaign without shadow magic can simply drop the shadow magic. Furthermore, some campaigns might link the dual nature of the dark mind to Demogorgon, making them formidable and insane foes.

Encounters with Dark Minds should try to feature both their shadow magic and their psionics. In addition, any hint of insanity or other such off-ness can make a dark mind truly memorable, especially if one is encountered on multiple occasions.
EL 10: Talias Versago has been a dark mind for about as long as she can remember, which currently stretches back only a couple of months. She has been one for years and the strain has driven her insane. If met in a rare moment of mental clarity, she could serve as a potential informant or partner. Otherwise, she may well unleash an unprovoked attack against the party as they walk down the road.
Talias Versago CR 10
Female halfling Wilder 5/Dark Mind 5
CN small humanoid (halfling)
Init -1; Senses Listen +2, Spot +0
Languages Common, Halfling, Elven, Gnome
AC 11, touch 11, flat-footed 11
hp 37 (10 HD)
Fort +6, Ref +2, Will +11
Speed 20 ft. (6 squares)
Melee +1 light mace +4 (1d6-2)
Ranged Light crossbow +5 (1d8/19-20)
Base Atk +5 ; Grp -2
Special Actions Wild Surge +2, Mind Forced Open, Body Fuel, Mental Leap, Inquisitor
Combat Gear 1 orb of shadow (apprentice 1st)
Power Points/Day: 25, 25 remaining; Wilder Powers Known (ML 10th)
1st—mind thrust, vigor
Mysteries Known (CL 5th)
Apprentice paths:
3rd—flicker (spell, 1/day)
2nd—congress of shadows (spell, 1/day), thoughts of shadow (spell, 1/day)
1st—voice of shadow (spell, 1/day), mesmerizing shade (spell, 1/day)
0—umbral hand (supernatural, 3/day), mystic reflections (supernatural, 3/day), caul of shadow (supernatural, 3/day), arrow of dusk (supernatural, 3/day)
Abilities Str 4, Dex 9, Con 10, Int 16, Wis 14, Cha 17
SQ Psychic Enervation, Elude Touch, Surging Euphoria, Volatile Mind, Mental Torment, Mental Shadow, Forced Awareness, Mind’s Shadow, Hollow Mind, Synergistic Thought
Feats Body Fuel, Up the Walls, Speed of Thought, Mental Leap, Inquisitor
Skills Autohypnosis +15, Concentration +12, Intimidate +16, Knowledge (psionics) +16, Knowledge (the planes) +16, Psicraft +16, Swim +0
Possessions combat gear plus +1 Light Mace, Light Crossbow with 20 bolts, Gauntlets of Ogre Power, Amulet of Health +2, Type II bag of Holding