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

   Our next sample level one Eclipse classless d20 character build is another psychic example – in this case a variant on the standard Psion build. Unlike most standard d20 classes, the basic Psion isn’t all that badly frontloaded at level one; any points the character gets from disadvantages or other limitations can be spent on extras – things like a slightly larger level one hit die, some minor innate talents, proficiency with light armor, and some extra Power would all be very nice to start off with. I might even delay a few skill points for later to get them. Skills are nice, but – at level one – increased chances of survival are even better.

   The Revised 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 – 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: Str 8, Int 16, Wis 14, Con 12, Dex 12, Chr 12 (28 point buy).

   Basic Purchases (30 CP):

  • Proficient with All Simple Weapons (3 CP) and Light Armor (3 CP).
  • +14 Skill Points (14 CP)
  • +2 on Will Saves (6 CP)
  • d8 Hit Die (4 CP)
  • Initial BAB +0 (0 CP).

   Well, thanks to having twelve extra character points available, and to spending six of them here, we’ve dropped two skill points and gained an extra four hit points, proficiency with light armor, and a slightly better selection of weapons. This isn’t going to make a Psion a combat monster, but it will make them somewhat tougher to start off with.

   Special Abilities (36 CP):

  • +1 Psion Magic Level (12 CP) – including one Caster Level specialized in the Psion Spellcasting Progression, 3 CP, and one level of the Psion Spellcasting Progression, 9 CP.
  • Domain/Path, Specialized to include a greater number of spells/the user does not actually get to add these to his or her personal spell list, this merely makes them available to be selected to fill his or her normal slots (6 CP). Under the basic rules the choice of speciality also grants additional class skills, but this is irrelevant in Eclipse, where your “Class Skills” are whatever suits your character. Of course, under the basic rules, the psion only has six choices – Seer (Clairsentience), Shaper (Metacreativity), Kineticist (Psychokinesis), Egoist (Psychometabolism), Nomad (Psychoportation), and Telepath (Telepathy). Under Eclipse a character is perfectly free to come up with their own theme and some spells to suit. Want to be a Harvester of Life? A Spellsinger? A Fey Lordling? Go right ahead.
  • A Bonus Psychic Feat (6 CP). Well, that’s six character points to spend picking out something handy for your character.
  • A Bonus Feat (6 CP). This is the usual level one bonus feat. Since we’re more-or-less emulating a standard build here, I’ll leave those points free for the moment. That makes twelve character points to spend picking out something handy.
  • That leaves us with 6 CP to spend – the other half of the 12 points from disadvantages and duties (or whatever limitations the character has substituted) – to buy something else. In this case, it’s going to be on one of the biggest available boosts for a first-level psychic character: Mana/the +3d6 Power option. That won’t seem like such a big deal in a few levels, but at first level it should at least double, and will probably triple or even quadruple, the characters Power reserve – which will normally start off at 3-4 points.
  • What should the Psion get with their two bonus Feats? Here are a few possible packages:
    • Psychic Knight: Many an adventurer, whether due to noble birth, parental training, or simply putting their time in the militia to good use, puts the weapons skills acquired in their youth to good use despite their later training in less militant fields. Proficiency with Medium Armor (6 CP) and with All Martial Weapons (6 CP – and a good deal, since such broad proficiencies are only available at level one unless the game master opts to make an exception). This character will probably want to invest a little more heavily than usual in BAB later on and might want to swap that low strength with another attribute.
    • Expert Psion: Some students of the psionic arts simply show more dedication to their studies and learn more quickly than others – an advantage which may well follow them throughout their careers. +1 level of the Psion Spellcasting Progression (12 CP). That’s nice and simple.
    • Natural Psion: Some mentalists have unruly natural gifts – inherent powers driven by desperation or anger – which may flare up violently at any time. Where could such a gift be put to better use than in a career as an adventurer? Path/Domain (any one psychic Metaspell – such as “Pyrokinesis”, usable for making lights, throwing bolts of flame, fireballs, walls of fire, cooking food, and welding doors shut, among other things, depending on how much power the user can channel into it), and Berserker (+4 to Base Caster Level, +4 to the user’s primary casting attribute while he or she is in this berserker state. The bonus power points from this should be tracked separately, they start off fresh in any given day, but won’t refresh between berserk episodes). A good package if you want to be exceptionally dangerous to start off with.
    • Tower Resident (having the tower made of ivory is optional): Some scholars of the mind are dedicated to expanding the limits of their powers, studying advanced techniques the most others will not even comprehend, much less put to use. Ritual Magic/”Circle Operations” (this version of Ritual Magic usually uses appropriate psions as “components” – a practice which can put the operators in considerable danger, but makes “components” much easier to find for a ritual group, 6 CP) and Create Relic (6 CP).
    • Fatebound Psion: Some psychics simply find themselves swept up in events – pulled into terrible situations, where they seem destined to intervene decisively, whether for good or ill. Karma, Specialized/the character will – like it or not – continuously be falling into missions, turn out to be the one fated to deal with some dark artifact, fit the terms of some local prophecy, and otherwise be dragged into an endless array of bizarre situations (3 CP), Luck with +2 Bonus Uses (9 CP).
    • Spirit Warrior: These psychics have learned to focus their mental power into weapons of pure disruptive force. Unfortunately, this ability requires the use of a specially-constructed talisman (that is, they’re Corrupted/requires a special talisman) – at least at first. Proficiency with any one Martial Weapon (Normally the one being emulated, 2 CP), Spirit Weapon (non-magical Force damage) with One Touch Attack per Round (8 CP), and Imbuement, Specialized/requires the investment of 3 Power to activate for ten minutes (2 CP). Alternatively, the user may opt to create a ranged weapon and give up the Imbuement power – at least at first. Spending some skill points on a suitable martial art is highly recommended.
    • Psychic Artificer: Some psions are fascinated by the possibilities inherent in focusing their energies through various talismans. This can provide a good deal of extra power, but – as always for those who rely on talismans – is a point of vulnerability as well. Create Relic, Specialized/points from Enthusiast only (3 CP) and Enthusiast, Specialized for double effect (2 CP total)/points may only be used to create Relics (3 CP). We’ll allow this character to use the Charms and Talismans rules from The Practical Enchanter as well – an ability which can be purchased as Shaping, Corrupted and Specialized for increased (level one and possibly weak level two) effects/can only produce the effects for which the user has the appropriate foci ready, can only support a limited number (seven and three) of minor charms and more notable talismans at one time, charms and talismans are modestly expensive (and thus limited by wealth and lifestyle) and take some time to attune for use (6 CP).

   Further Advancement: Well, the basic path of the Psion is pretty clear: Skills, Saves, and more Psion Magic Levels. Beyond that? Get advanced psychic abilities and build up whatever ability package you took – or add some features from another one when the points become available. How about a Psychic Knight / Spirit Warrior?

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One Response

  1. […] The Revised Psion: variants on the standard Psion build. Psychic Knight, Expert Psion, Natural Psion, Tower Resident, Fatebound Psion, Spirit Warror, and Psychic Artificer. […]

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