Excerpts 04/02/2004


The Expanded Psionics Handbook
By Bruce R. Cordell



Your character's mind is an infinite metaphorical plane, where all things are possible. It may be that all characters have within them the potential for harnessing the energy of the mind, but only those who succeed in tapping into that potential can become psionic characters. A psionic character knows the mental pathways that lead to amazing edifices of thought and energy.

The Expanded Psionics Handbook gives you everything you need to create and play psionic characters, including psionic races, classes, skills and feats, powers, items, monsters, spells, and deities. Our sneak peek offers just a sampling:

From Chapter 3: Skills and Feats

Concentration (Con)

You are particularly good at focusing your mind. In addition to the uses of this skill covered in the Player's Handbook, Concentration can be used in the following manner.

Check: You must make a Concentration check whenever you might potentially be distracted (by taking damage, by harsh weather, and so on) while engaged in some action that requires your full attention. Such actions include manifesting a power, concentrating on an active power (such as energy current), directing a power (such as psionic levitate), or using a psi-like ability (such as a dromite's energy ray).

If the Concentration check succeeds, you can continue with the action as normal. If the check fails, the action automatically fails and is wasted. If you were in the process of manifesting a power, the power points are lost (see Manifesting Powers, page 53). If you were concentrating on an active power, the power ends as if you had ceased concentrating on it. If you were directing a power, the direction fails but the power remains active. If you were using a psi-like ability, that use of the ability is lost.

The table below summarizes various types of distractions that cause you to make a Concentration check. If the distraction occurs while you are trying to manifest a power, you must add the level of the power you are trying to manifest to the appropriate Concentration DC.

Concentration DC[1] Distraction
10 + damage dealt Damaged during the action.[2]
10 + half of continuous damage last dealt Taking continuous damage during the action.[3]
15 + power level Attempting to manifest a power without its display.
15 Entangled.
Distracting power's save DC Distracted by nondamaging power.[4]
20 Gain psionic focus.
20 Grappling or pinned. (You can manifest powers normally unless you fail your Concentration check.)
Distracting power's save DC Weather caused by power, such as control air.[4]
[1] -- If you are trying to manifest, concentrate on, or direct a power when the distraction occurs, add the level of the power to the indicated DC.
[2] -- Such as during the manifestation of a power with a manifesting time of 1 round or more. Also from an attack of opportunity or readied attack made in response to the power being manifested (for powers with a manifesting time of 1 action) or the action being taken (for activities requiring no more than a full-round action).
[3] -- Such as from standing in natural fire or lava.
[4] -- If the power allows no save, use the save DC it would have if it did allow a save.

Gain Psionic Focus: Merely holding a reservoir of psionic power points in mind gives psionic characters a special energy. Psionic characters can put that energy to work without actually paying a power point cost -- they can become psionically focused as a special use of the Concentration skill.

If you have 1 or more power points available, you can meditate to attempt to become psionically focused. The DC to become psionically focused is 20. Meditating is a full-round action that provokes attacks of opportunity.

When you are psionically focused, you can expend your focus on any single Concentration check you make thereafter. When you expend your focus in this manner, your Concentration check is treated as if you rolled a 15. It's like taking 10, except that the number you add to your Concentration modifier is 15. You can also expend your focus to gain the benefit of a psionic feat -- many psionic feats are activated in this way.

Once you are psionically focused, you remain focused until you expend your focus, become unconscious, or go to sleep (or enter a meditative trance, in the case of elans), or until your power point reserve drops to 0.

Action: Usually none. In most cases, making a Concentration check doesn't require an action; it is either a free action (when attempted reactively) or part of another action (when attempted actively). Meditating to gain psionic focus is a full-round action.

Try Again: Yes, though a success doesn't cancel the effects of a previous failure, such as the loss of the power points for a power being manifested or the disruption of a power being concentrated on.

Special: You can use Concentration to manifest a power or use a psi-like ability defensively, so as to avoid attacks of opportunity altogether. The DC of the check is 15 + the power's level. If the Concentration check succeeds, you can manifest normally without provoking any attacks of opportunity. If the Concentration check fails, the power also automatically fails and the power points are wasted, just as if your concentration had been disrupted by a distraction.

A character with the Combat Manifestation feat (see page 44) gets a +4 bonus on Concentration checks made to manifest a power or use a psi-like ability while on the defensive or while grappling or pinned.

Synergy: If you have 5 or more ranks in Concentration, you get a +2 bonus on Autohypnosis checks.

Table 3-4: Feats

General Feats Prerequisites Benefit
Antipsionic Magic[4] Spellcraft 5 ranks Spells against psionic creatures are more potent
Autonomous -- +2 bonus on Autohypnosis and Knowledge (psionics) checks
Chaotic Mind[4] Chaotic alignment, Cha 15 Psionic insight bonuses of foes are nullified
Cloak Dance Hide 10 ranks, Perform (dance) 2 ranks Spend an action to gain concealment
Closed Mind[4] -- Gain resistance to all psionic power
Deadly Precision Dex 15, base attack bonus +5 Reroll 1s on sneak attack dice
Force of Will[4] Iron Will Make a Will save instead of Fort or Ref against psionic powers
Greater Manyshot[3] Dex 17, Manyshot, Point Blank Shot, Rapid Shot, base attack bonus +6 Shoot 2 or more arrows simultaneously, even at separate targets
Hostile Mind[4] Cha 15 Automatically deal damage to telepathic foes
Mental Resistance[4] Base Will save bonus +2 Gain mental resistance to some damaging powers
Mind over Body Con 13 Heal ability damage more quickly
Open Minded -- +5 skill points
Psionic Affinity -- +2 bonus on Psicraft and Use Psionic Device checks
Psionic Hole[4] Con 15 Drain away psionic foes' focus and power points
Rapid Metabolism Con 13 Heal hit points more quickly
Reckless Offense Base attack bonus +1 Take -4 AC to gain +2 melee attack bonus
Sidestep Charge Dex 13, Dodge +4 bonus to AC against a charging foe
Stand Still Str 13 Attack of opportunity stops foe's movement
Wild Talent -- Gain psionic ability and 2 power points
Psionic Feats Prerequisites Benefit
Aligned Attack[1] Base attack bonus +6 Attack gains alignment, +1d6 damage
Boost Construct -- Astral construct gains additional ability
Combat Manifestation -- +4 bonus on Concentration checks for defensive manifestation
Expanded Knowledge Manifester level 3rd Add one new power to powers known
Focused Sunder[1] Str 13, Power Attack, Improved Sunder Ignore 1/2 hardness of foe's weapon
Ghost Attack[2] Base attack bonus +3 Ignore incorporeal miss chance on critical hit
Inquisitor[1] Wis 13 +10 bonus on Sense Motive checks to oppose Bluff
Mental Leap[1] Str 13, Jump 5 ranks +10 bonus on Jump checks
Metamorphic Transfer Wis 13, manifester level 5th Assume one supernatural ability of alternate form
Narrow Mind Wis 13 +4 bonus on Concentration checks to become psionically focused
Overchannel -- Take damage to increase your manifester level
Talented[1] Overchannel Take no damage from overchanneling some powers
Body Fuel Overchannel, Talented Take ability burn to gain power points
Power Penetration[1] -- +4 bonus to defeat power resistance
Greater Power Penetration1 Power Penetration +8 total bonus to defeat power resistance
Power Specialization Weapon Focus (ray), manifester level 4th +2 bonus damage to damaging powers
Greater Power Specialization Power Specialization, Weapon Focus (ray), manifester level 12th +4 total bonus damage to damaging powers
Psicrystal Affinity Manifester level 1st Obtain a psicrystal
Improved Psicrystal Psicrystal Affinity Enhance your psicrystal
Psicrystal Containment Psicrystal Affinity, manifester level 3rd Your psicrystal can hold a psionic focus
Psionic Body -- +2 hit points for each psionic feat you have
Psionic Dodge[2] Dex 13, Dodge +1 dodge bonus to AC
Psionic Endowment[1] -- Add +1 to power's save DC
Greater Psionic Endowment1 Psionic Endowment Add +2 to power's save DC
Psionic Fist[1] Str 13 Unarmed attack or natural weapon deals +2d6 damage
Greater Psionic Fist[1] Str 13, Psionic Fist, base attack bonus +5 Unarmed attack or natural weapon deals +4d6 damage
Unavoidable Strike[1] Str 13, Psionic Fist, base attack bonus +5 Resolve unarmed or natural weapon attack as touch attack
Psionic Meditation Wis 13, Concentration 7 ranks Become psionically focused as a move action
Psionic Shot[1] Point Blank Shot Ranged weapon deals +2d6 damage
Greater Psionic Shot[1] Point Blank Shot, Psionic Shot, base attack bonus +5 Ranged weapon deals +4d6 damage
Fell Shot[1] Dex 13, Point Blank Shot, Psionic Shot, base attack bonus +5 Resolve ranged attack as touch attack
Return Shot[1] Point Blank Shot, Psionic Shot, Fell Shot, base attack bonus +3 Deflect ranged attacks back at attacker
Psionic Talent Having power points Gain additional power points
Psionic Weapon[1] Str 13 Melee weapon deals +2d6 damage
Greater Psionic Weapon[1] Str 13, Psionic Weapon, base attack bonus +5 Melee weapon deals +4d6 damage
Deep Impact[1] Str 13, Psionic Weapon, base attack bonus +5 Resolve melee weapon attack as touch attack
Speed of Thought[2] Wis 13 +10 feet to speed in light or medium armor
Psionic Charge[1] Wis 13, Speed of Thought Charge while taking erratic course to foe
Up the Walls[2] Wis 13 Run on walls and ceilings
Wounding Attack[1] Base attack bonus +8 Wound opponents with your attack
Metapsionic Feats Prerequisites Benefit
Burrowing Power[1] -- Bypass barrier with power
Chain Power[1] -- Choose additional targets with power
Delay Power[1] -- Delay effect of power up to 5 rounds
Empower Power[1] -- Increase power's variable, number effects by 50%
Enlarge Power[1] -- Double power's range
Extend Power[1] -- Double power's duration
Maximize Power[1] -- Maximize power's variable, numeric effects
Opportunity Power[1] -- Make attacks of opportunity with touch powers
Quicken Power[1] -- Manifest powers as free action
Split Psionic Ray[1] Any metapsionic feat Split one ray attack into two
Twin Power[1] -- Manifest power twice
Unconditional Power[1] -- Manifest power despite character condition
Widen Power[1] -- Double power's area
Item Creation Feats Prerequisites Benefit
Craft Cognizance Crystal Manifester level 3rd Create cognizance crystals
Craft Dorje Manifester level 5th Create dorjes
Craft Psicrown Manifester level 12th Create psicrowns
Craft Psionic Arms and Armor Manifester level 5th Create psionic arms and armor
Craft Psionic Construct Craft Psionic Arms and Armor, Craft Universal Item Create psionic constructs
Craft Universal Item Manifester level 3rd Create psionic item
Imprint Stone Manifester level 1st Create power stones
Scribe Tattoo Manifester level 3rd Create psionic tattoos
[1] -- You must expend your psionic focus to use this feat. See the Concentration skill description, page 37.
[2] -- You must be psionically focused to use this feat. See the Concentration skill description, page 37.
[3] -- A fighter may select this feat as one of his fighter bonus feats.
[4] -- You cannot take or use this feat if you have the ability to use powers (if you have a power point reserve).

Chaotic Mind [General]

The turbulence of your thoughts prevents others from gaining insight into your actions.

Prerequisite: Chaotic alignment, Cha 15.

Benefit: Creatures and characters who have an insight bonus on their attack rolls, an insight bonus to their Armor Class, or an insight bonus on skill checks or ability checks do not gain those bonuses against you.

The benefit of this feat applies only to insight bonuses gained from psionic powers and psi-like abilities. This is an exception to the psionics-magic transparency rule (see page 55).

Special: You cannot take or use this feat if you have the ability to use powers (if you have a power point reserve or psi-like abilities).

Force of Will [General]

You are able to resist psionic attacks with extreme force of will.

Prerequisite: Iron Will.

Benefit: Once per round, when targeted by a psionic effect that allows a Reflex save or a Fortitude save, you can instead make a Will saving throw to avoid the effect.

The benefit of this feat applies only to psionic powers and psi-like abilities. This is an exception to the psionics-magic transparency rule (see page 55).

Special: You cannot take or use this feat if you have the ability to use powers (if you have a power point reserve or psi-like abilities).

Opportunity Power [Metapsionic]

You can make power-enhanced attacks of opportunity.

Benefit: To use this feat, you must expend your psionic focus (see the Concentration skill description, page 37). When you make an attack of opportunity, you can use any power you know with a range of touch, if you have at least one hand free. Manifesting this power is an immediate action.

You cannot use this feat with a touch power whose manifesting time is longer than 1 full-round action.

Using this feat increases the power point cost of the power by 6. The power's total cost cannot exceed your manifester level.

Normal: Attacks of opportunity can be made only with melee weapons.

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