3.5 d20 Level-By-Level Base Class Breakdowns, Part V

   Here we have the next segment of the level-by-level breakdowns of the basic d20 character classes for Eclipse: The Codex Persona – the Psion and the Psychic Warrior. Both of these are fairly easy breakdowns, if only because, like the Fighter and the character classes in d20 modern, they both refrain from providing much in the way of specific powers, instead simply offering bonus Feats.

   Of course, in Eclipse, you aren’t limited to a particular list of bonus Feats, since you’re quite welcome to create your own six-point powers and ability combinations – but it still makes for a simple chart.

   In practice, at least in fantasy settings, most players seem to prefer spellcasters to psychics. It’s more dramatic and more genre to think of your character making mystical gestures, intoning strange spells in forgotten languages, and fooling about with weird ingredients than it is to have them look at things and concentrate for a moment.

   The psychics tend to start popping up in modern, futuristic, and super-heroic settings, where – despite the fact that there isn’t much in the system to distinguish between the two – the players tend to feel that psychic powers are faster, more reliable, and more “scientific” than spellcasting. In a way, they’re right – simply because half the mages in such settings corrupt of specialize their magic to increase it’s power at the expense of requiring lengthy rituals and such to use it.

   That’s a clue for easy game-mastering there. Develop your setting a bit, make sure that the players all have some idea of what to expect and what the conventions are likely to be – and most of them will cooperate enthusiastically. They realize that it makes for more fun and less argument.

The Psion, Levels 1-20:

   Every Level: d4 Hit Die (0), +4 SP (4), one Psion Magic Level (one Caster Level specialized in the Psion Spellcasting Progression, 3, and one level of the Psion Spellcasting Progression, 9) = 16 CP.

Level

Cost

Purchases

1st

48

+2 Will (6), Bonus Feat (6), Domain/Path (6), +12 Skill Points (12), Proficient with a limited set of Simple Weapons (2).

2nd

25

+1 BAB (6), +1 Will (3)

3rd

22

+1 Fort (3), +1 Ref (3)

4th

25

+1 BAB (6), +1 Will (3)

5th

22

Bonus Feat (6)

6th

31

+1 BAB (6), +1 Fort (3), +1 Ref (3), +1 Will (3)

7th

16

None

8th

25

+1 BAB (6), +1 Will (3)

9th

22

+1 Fort (3), +1 Ref (3)

10th

31

+1 BAB (6), +1 Will (3), Bonus Feat (6)

11th

16

None

12th

31

+1 BAB (6), +1 Fort (3), +1 Ref (3), +1 Will (3)

13th

16

None

14th

25

+1 BAB (6), +1 Will (3)

15th

28

+1 Fort (3), +1 Ref (3), Bonus Feat (6)

16th

25

+1 BAB (6), +1 Will (3)

17th

16

None

18th

31

+1 BAB (6), +1 Fort (3), +1 Ref (3), +1 Will (3)

19th

16

None

20th

31

+1 BAB (6), +1 Will (3), Bonus Feat (6)

   Grand Total: 502 out of 504 available.

   The Psion is another easy one to buy in Eclipse; there are a couple of levels where you’ll have to put off taking a skill point or two, but there are rather more where you’ll wind up a few points ahead even if you don’t take any disadvantages. If you come up with a few extra points, you can spend them on a bit of customization even before getting into the points from bonus Feats. Still, while the Psion, like a Wizard, regularly gets a Bonus Feat to look forward too, all the real excitement in this kind of build comes from acquiring new spells and powers. Fortunately, they’re good at it.

 

The Psychic Warrior, Levels 1-20:

   Every Level: d8 Hit Die (4), +2 Skill Points (2), +1 Psychic Warrior Magic Level (one Caster Level Specialized in the Psychic Warrior Progression, 3, and one level of the Psychic Warrior Spell Progression, 3) = 12

Level

Cost

Purchases

1st

57

+2 Fort (6), +6 Skill Points (6), Proficient with All Simple and Martial Weapons (9), Light, Medium, and Heavy Armor (15), and Shields (3), Bonus Feat (6).

2nd

27

+1 BAB (6), +1 Fort (3), Bonus Feat (6)

3rd

24

+1 Ref (3), +1 Will (3), +1 BAB (6)

4th

21

+1 BAB (6), +1 Fort (3)

5th

18

Bonus Feat (6)

6th

27

+1 BAB (6), +1 Fort (3), +1 Ref (3), +1 Will (3)

7th

18

+1 BAB (6)

8th

27

+1 BAB (6), +1 Fort (3), Bonus Feat (6)

9th

18

+1 Ref (3), +1 Will (3)

10th

21

+1 BAB (6), +1 Fort (3)

11th

24

+1 BAB (6), Bonus Feat (6)

12th

27

+1 BAB (6), +1 Fort (3), +1 Ref (3), +1 Will (3)

13th

12

None

14th

27

+1 BAB (6), +1 Fort (3), Bonus Feat (6)

15th

24

+1 BAB (6), +1 Ref (3), +1 Will (3),

16th

21

+1 BAB (6), +1 Fort (3)

17th

18

Bonus Feat (6)

18th

27

+1 BAB (6), +1 Fort (3), +1 Ref (3), +1 Will (3)

19th

18

+1 BAB (6),

20th

27

+1 BAB (6), +1 Fort (3), Bonus Feat (6)

   Grand Total: 483 out of 504 available.

   The Psychic Warrior winds up with 21 leftover points and is thus slightly underpowered. On the other hand, like the Fighter, the Psychic Warrior is a small-scale combat specialist – and thus this usually passes unnoticed, since a lot of games tend to focus on small-scale combat. More importantly for our purposes, it’s another build which can be fairly easily duplicated, customized, or improved on, by an Eclipse-style point-buy character. All you need to do is take a few disadvantages to help cover that slightly over-pricey first level, and perhaps a restriction, package deal, or set of duties, and you should have plenty of points left over to add some unique touches at higher levels.

   The Psychic Warrior does make an interesting contrast with the various magical-warrior builds, such as Hexblades and Duskblades*. Those builds tend to use fairly normal spells, and focus on giving the character ways to invoke them quickly, or channel them through weapons. The Psychic Warrior, on the other hand, simply uses “spells” with the high-speed, easy-to-use, and focused-on-weapons options built right in. That makes those spells weaker for their level of course, but the overall effect is pretty much the same.

   *Why is it always straight-swords-and-spells rather than – say – axes and spells? Partly tradition, partly the fact that the sword is perceived as a noble weapon that requires skill and finesse rather than brute force (trust me; all unpowered melee weapons require both some skill and enough muscle to move them around quickly), and partly simply the fact a straight sword that can be held in one hand is a pointing device – and most players seem to envision magic as something that comes from the caster, is directed at a target, travels in a straight line as directed, and takes effect on whatever it hits. There’s no reason for this outside of game balance (you’ve got to give your targets a chance to see you and strike back), since most classical magic didn’t even call for being able to see your target or even knowing where they were at the moment, but that’s the usual notion. Ergo, your basic spellblade uses a straight, one-handed, and fairly maneuverable sword to help direct his or her magic.

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One Response

  1. […] Bard, and Cleric, Druid, Fighter, and Sorcerer, Paladin and Ranger, Rogue and Wizard, Psion and Psychic Warrior, and […]

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