Eclipse – Building d20 Psychics Part IV, The Gifted Psion Level One Build

   Our next sample level one Eclipse classless d20 character build is another psychic example – in this case, the Gifted Psion. The Gifted Psion is a second edition-style psionic – and second edition’s psionics were a little different. It’s Devotions and Sciences came in short sequences or trees, they were unreliable – requiring a check to activate – and they were about as powerful as mid-ranking clerical spells. Devotions were usually equivalent to effects of levels 2-4, while Sciences ran from about 5-7 – and never got any more powerful than that. Characters never got all that many Devotions and Sciences, and only had a limited amount of Power to work with – but they were free to channel it to any Devotion or Science they knew.

   More importantly, they could start off with one or perhaps even two of the best powers they’d ever get – but didn’t get that much more as they went up in levels. A few more abilities and a slow increase in their Power reserve was about it.

   That made them an awkward fit in most campaigns; Psiontists started off strong – although that was somewhat tempered by the unreliability of their powers – but, unlike most other classes, they never really got all that much stronger. They got a somewhat wider variety of powers, their powers got a bit more reliable, and they could fuel them longer – but that was about it. The powers themselves didn’t improve much.

   Of course, you can build such a character using the classless Eclipse d20 rules (Eclipse: The Codex Persona is available in print HERE and in a shareware .pdf version HERE). The build looks like this…

   The Gifted Psion

  • Disadvantages: (Select three for 10 CP), and add
  • Duties (to a feudal overlord, school, deity, faith, or whatever, +2 CP/Level. Restrictions – such as not using armor and major weapons or – in this case – never being able to access truly high-level abilities – can be substituted readily).
  • Total available character points: 48 (Level One Base) + 10 (Disadvantages) +2 (Duties) + 6 (Level One Bonus Feat) = 66, 18 of which (from disadvantages, duties, and the bonus Feat) may be spent outside of the Adventurer framework restrictions.

   Basic Attributes: These will vary with the Gifted Psions chosen speciality, see Special Abilities, below.

   Basic Purchases (30 CP):

  • Proficient with All Simple Weapons and Bows (6 CP), Light Armor (3 CP), and Shields (3 CP).
  • +8 Skill Points (8 CP)
  • +2 on any one Save (6 CP)
  • d8 Hit Die (4 CP) (The original was a d6, but I think a slight upgrade is in order).
  • Initial BAB +0 (0 CP).

   Special Abilities (36 CP):

  • Mana: 3d6, Corrupted/only usable for powering Inherent Spells, no natural magic option (12 CP).
  • Rite of Chi with +2 Bonus Uses, Specialized/only works with hours of sleep or deep meditation or many hours of light effort (4 CP).
  • Immunity/caster level requirements (Common, Major, Major [for covering effects up to five levels above what would normally be available], Specialized/only covers Inherent Spells, 4 CP).
  • Doubled Damage/psionic powers have double effect (or normal effect at half the mana cost) when the user rolls a natural “20” on the activation check, Corrupted/inherent mana-powered powers only (4 CP)
  • Inherent Spells, using the option of costing 2 Mana to use, rather than running on uses-per-day. All Specialized for double effect/requires a successful attribute check to work at a DC of (7 + Effect Level) and still cost mana – albeit only half as much – on a failure. The attribute used relates to the nature of the ability used; for our purposes the manipulation of matter and energy uses Strength, the mind-affecting abilities and summonings use Charisma, tinkering with space and time uses Dexterity, healing and biophysical effects use Constitution, extra-sensory perception uses Wisdom, and the manipulation of powers, abilities, and supernormal forces uses Intelligence. These abilities are also Corrupted for reduced cost/the Mana cost varies with the power of the ability. Two 1‘st to 2’nd level minor effects costing 1-2 Mana (4 CP), two 3’rd or 4’th level intermediate effects costing 3-4 Mana (8 CP), one 5’th or 6’th level major effect, costing 5-6 Mana (4 CP).

   That will give our starting second-edition style Gifted Psion character five abilities – all either related to a particular theme or one minor, one intermediate, and one major effect related to one theme and one minor and one intermediate effect related to a second – and ten or eleven points of Mana to fuel them with. Of course, they may waste much of that failing activation checks – although the occasional natural 20 will be a boon – so they won’t be able to use a major power more than once or twice in a day. If they can scrape up a few more points, more Mana and some way to improve their wisdom check will help a lot.

   Further Advancement: Obviously enough, the Gifted Psion will want to buy more Mana, more inherent spells/”powers”, more Bonus uses on their Rite of Chi to recover Mana with, some way to augment their attributes or attribute checks, and a better will save. If they’re desperate for points, a Gifted Psion may consider buying an emergency Mana reserve that’s Specialized or Corrupted to be exhausting or dangerous to use. Low-level Gifted Psions may want to pick up a bit of Witchcraft, simply because it’s versatile-but-low-powered nature complements their highly-specific-but-powerful abilities very nicely. Intermediate-level Gifted Psions may want to consider Leadership and the various perks of heading up an organization – if only because the quick access to higher-order abilities, no matter how undependable they are, will be a major draw to those seeking quick and easy power, making it easy to gather apprentices and followers.


One Response

  1. […] The Gifted Psion: a second-edition style psion build. […]

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