Expanding Your Mind
Astral Taskers
By Mark A. Jindra and Scott Brocius

The astral tasker is an animated object formed of ectoplasm that is used by psionic characters to perform simple tasks in a manner similar to an unseen servant. Taskers typically appear as short, featureless humanoid figures resembling astral constructs. While they can never engage in combat, they can fetch things, open unstuck doors, follow specific party members, and carry things like bags, sacks, barrels, or crates. Higher-level taskers become more powerful and versatile and some can even perform more complicated tasks such as blacksmithing.

Power Chain (Metacreativity)

Level

Power

0

--

1

Astral Tasker I

2

Astral Tasker II

3

Astral Tasker III

4

--

5

Astral Tasker IV

6

--

7

Astral Tasker V

8

--

9

--

Power chains are used in conjunction with the Upgrade Power and Chain Link feats.

Powers

Astral Tasker I
Metacreativity (Int)
Level: Psion 1
Display: Vi, Ma
Manifestation Time: 1 full round
Range: Close (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 levels)
Effect: One created astral tasker
Duration: 1 hour per level
Saving Throw: None
Power Resistance: No
Power Points: 1

An astral tasker is an animated object formed of ectoplasm and that is used to perform simple tasks. They typically appear as short, featureless humanoid figures resembling astral constructs, but they can be reshaped with a successful Craft (sculpting) check [DC 10 + (2 x tasker level)] (see Reshaping Astral Taskers below). They can fetch things, open unstuck doors, follow specific party members, and carry things like bags, sacks, barrels or crates. A tasker can perform only one task at a time, and it continues to perform the task until told to stop. For example, a tasker following a psion and carrying a barrel will stop at a closed door; it must be told to place the barrel on the ground and open the door. A tasker can also perform simple functions such as opening only normal doors, drawers, lids and so on. Taskers can trigger pressure plates that require at least 100 pounds of force.

The tasker cannot attack in any way and it is never allowed an attack roll. It cannot be killed, but it breaks down and dissipates harmlessly when it reaches 0 hit points. It can make saves as normal. You need to stay in range of a construct to command it; however, it will continue to execute its last command to the best of its ability till its duration is reached or it is destroyed. See the Astral Tasker statistics below for more information on an astral tasker's stats. This spell creates a 1st-level astral tasker.

Sample Tasker Drilbus

We have put together a few sample drilbus that some psionic characters might find useful. The first drilbu creates a 5th-level astral tasker with the Profession (lumberjack) skill, and it is further enhanced with major creation so you are never without an axe. The second drilbu creates a 5th-level astral tasker with the craft (blacksmithing) skill; major creation has been added so that the proper smithing tools are always nearby. (For more on drilbus, check out the website article about them!)

Drilbu of the Tasker (Lumberjack): The drilbu of the tasker (lumberjack) is a gray-blue crystalline staff just under 5 feet long, and it has iron caps on either end. It functions at all times as a staff +2, and it has the following powers:

Major Creation (2 charge)
Astral Tasker V (2 charges)

The 5th-level astral tasker appears as a bipedal humanoid and has the Profession (lumberjack) skill at 11 ranks. This drilbu has fifty charges.

Manifester Level: 14th; Prerequisites: Craft Drilbu; major creation, astral tasker V; Market Price: 50,000 gp; Weight: 4 lbs.

Drilbu of the Tasker (Blacksmithing): Thedrilbu of the tasker (blacksmithing) is a pale red crystalline staff just over 5 feet long, and it has iron caps on either end. It functions at all times as a staff +2, and it has the following powers:

Major Creation (1 charge)
Astral Tasker V (2 charges)

The 5th-level astral tasker appears as a bipedal humanoid and has the Craft (blacksmithing) skill at 11 ranks. This drilbu has fifty charges.

Manifester Level: 14th; Prerequisites: Craft Drilbu; major creation, astral tasker V; Market Price: 76,000 gp; Weight: 4 lbs.

Astral Tasker II
Metacreativity (Int)
Level: Psion 2
Display: Vi, Ma|
Manifestation Time: 1 full round
Range: Close (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 levels)
Effect: One or more astral taskers, no two of which can be more than 30 feet apart
Duration: 1 hour per level
Saving Throw: None
Power Resistance: No
Power Points: 3

As astral tasker I except you can create one 2nd-level astral tasker or 1d3 1st-level astral taskers.

Astral Tasker III
Metacreativity (Int)
Level: Psion 3
Display: Vi, Ma
Manifestation Time: 1 full round
Range: Close (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 levels)
Effect: One or more astral taskers, no two of which can be more than 30 feet apart
Duration: 1 hour per level
Saving Throw: None
Power Resistance: No
Power Points: 5

As astral tasker I except you can create one 3rd-level astral tasker, 1d3 2nd-level astral taskers, or 1d4+1 1st-level astral taskers.

Astral Tasker IV
Metacreativity (Int)
Level: Psion 5
Display: Vi, Ma
Manifestation Time: 1 full round
Range: Close (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 levels)
Effect: One or more astral taskers, no two of which can be more than 30 feet apart
Duration: 1 hour per level
Saving Throw: None
Power Resistance: No
Power Points: 9

As astral tasker I except you can create one 4th-level astral tasker, 1d3 3rd-level astral taskers, or 1d4+1 astral taskers of lower level.

Astral Tasker V
Metacreativity (Int)
Level: Psion 7
Display: Vi, Ma
Manifestation Time: 1 full round
Range: Close (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 levels)
Effect: One or more astral taskers, no two of which can be more than 30 feet apart.
Duration: 1 hour per level
Saving Throw: None
Power Resistance: No
Power Points: 13

As astral tasker I except you can create one 5th-level astral tasker, 1d3 4th-level astral taskers, or 1d4+1 astral taskers of lower level. You can imbue a small amount of knowledge in a 5th-level astral tasker, thereby granting it the ability to perform tasks as though it has a specific profession or craft skill. The skill is equal to that of the manifester. You cannot empower a tasker with a skill you do not have. You can empower a tasker with only a single skill. For instance, a psion with the Craft (blacksmithing) skill could create a 5th-level astral tasker and empower it with blacksmithing.

Astral Taskers

1st-Level Astral Tasker

Small Construct

Hit Dice:

1d10 (5 hp)

Initiative:

+1 (Dex)

Speed:

30 ft.

AC:

17 (+1 size, +1 Dex, +5 natural)

Attacks:

None

Damage:

None

Face/Reach:

5 ft. by 5 ft./5 ft.

Special Attacks:

None

Special Qualities:

Construct traits, hardness 5, ectoplasmic form

Saves:

Fort +0, Ref +1, Will -5

Abilities:

Str 13, Dex 12, Con -- Int --, Wis 1, Cha 1

Challenge Rating:

1/3

Alignment:

Always neutral

2nd-Level Astral Tasker

Small Construct

Hit Dice:

2d10 (11 hp)

Initiative:

+1 (Dex)

Speed:

30 ft. (50 ft. multiple legs)

AC:

17 (+1 size, +1 Dex, +5 natural)

Attacks:

None

Damage:

None

Face/Reach:

5 ft. by 5 ft./5 ft.

Special Attacks:

None

Special Qualities:

Construct traits, hardness 8, ectoplasmic form

Saves:

Fort +0, Ref +1, Will -5

Abilities:

Str 15, Dex 12, Con -- Int --, Wis 1, Cha 1

Challenge Rating:

1/2

Alignment:

Always neutral

3rd-Level Astral Tasker

Medium-Size Construct

Hit Dice:

3d10 (16 hp)

Initiative:

0

Speed:

30 ft. (50 ft. multiple legs)

AC:

15 (+5 natural)

Attacks:

None

Damage:

None

Face/Reach:

5 ft. by 5 ft./5 ft.

Special Attacks:

None

Special Qualities:

Construct traits, hardness 10, ectoplasmic form

Saves:

Fort +1, Ref +1, Will -4

Abilities:

Str 17, Dex 10, Con -- Int --, Wis 1, Cha 1

Challenge Rating:

1/2

Alignment:

Always neutral

4th-Level Astral Tasker

Medium-Size Construct

Hit Dice:

5d10 (27 hp)

Initiative:

0

Speed:

30 ft. (50 ft. multiple legs, 70 ft. wheeled*)

AC:

15 (+5 natural)

Attacks:

None

Damage:

None

Face/Reach:

5 ft. by 5 ft./5 ft.

Special Attacks:

None

Special Qualities:

Construct traits, hardness 15, ectoplasmic form

Saves:

Fort +1, Ref +1, Will -4

Abilities:

Str 21, Dex 10, Con -- Int --, Wis 1, Cha 1

Challenge Rating:

1

Alignment:

Always neutral

5th-Level Astral Tasker

Large Construct

Hit Dice:

7d10 (38 hp)

Initiative:

-1 (Dex)

Speed:

30 ft. (50 ft. multiple legs, 70 ft. wheeled*)

AC:

13 (-1 size, -1 Dex, +5 natural)

Attacks:

None

Damage:

None

Face/Reach:

10 ft. by 5 ft./5 ft.

5 ft. by 10 ft./5 ft. if multiple legs/wheeled

Special Attacks:

None

Special Qualities:

Construct traits, hardness 20, ectoplasmic form

Saves:

Fort +2, Ref +1, Will -3

Abilities:

Str 27, Dex 8, Con -- Int --, Wis 1, Cha 1

Challenge Rating:

2

Alignment:

Always neutral

* May be pushed or pulled at a speed of 70 ft.

Construct Traits: Immune to mind-influencing effects (charms, compulsions, phantasms, patterns, and morale effects), and to poison, sleep, paralysis, stunning, disease, death effects, necromantic effects, and any effect that requires a Fortitude save unless it also works on objects; cannot heal damage (though regeneration and fast healing still apply, if present); not subject to critical hits, subdual damage, ability damage, ability drain, or energy drain; not at risk of death from massive damage, but destroyed when reduced to 0 hit points or less; cannot be raised or resurrected; darkvision 60 ft.

Ectoplasmic Form: Taskers are composed of ectoplasm, and are subject to powers that affect it.

Reshaping Astral Taskers

An astral tasker is an animated object formed of ectoplasm used to perform simple tasks. Though they typically appear as short, featureless humanoid figures, they can be reshaped into a quadruped, given extra arms, or even turned into a wheeled cart. (See Table 1-1: Valid Astral Tasker Configurations for a complete list of valid astral tasker configurations.)

You can reshape any tasker of 2nd level or higher into a quadruped. This requires a successful Craft (sculpting) check [DC 10 + (2 x tasker level)]. This results in an increase in its speed to 50 feet. In this form, it is easier to strap bags or crates to the tasker or use it to pull a cart. However, it loses the ability to manipulate objects since it has no arms or hands. A character can be carried on an astral tasker if her weight is less than its carrying capacity.

You can reshape any tasker of 3rd level or higher so that it has an extra set of arms. This requires a successful Craft (sculpting) check [DC 10 + (2 x tasker level)]. These extra arms allow the tasker to perform certain tasks quicker (such as stacking wood); the speed increase is up to the DM. Taskers of 3rd level or higher also can be shaped into a quadruped with a single set of arms added so as to manipulate objects as normal.

You can reshape any tasker of 4th level or higher so that it resembles a two-wheeled object such as a cart. This requires a successful Craft (sculpting) check [DC 10 + (2 x tasker level)]. This cart can be pushed or pulled at a speed of up to 70 feet. Up to two Medium-size creatures/characters can be carried on a wheeled astral tasker if their weight is less than its carrying capacity. Taskers of 4th level or higher that have been shaped into a cart can also have a single set of arms added so as to manipulate objects as normal. They cannot have both wheels and also be quadrupeds.

Taskers of 5th level that have been empowered with a profession or craft can have an extra set of arms added so as to perform certain tasks quicker (such as using hammer and anvil); the speed increase is up to the DM. This requires a successful Craft (sculpting) check [DC 10 + (2 x tasker level)]. Taskers of 5th level that have been empowered with a profession or craft cannot have wheels or be quadrupeds. Any 5th-level taskers that are wheeled resemble a four-wheeled cart and can carry up to four Medium-size creatures/characters if their weight is less than its carrying capacity.

Table 1-1: Valid Astral Tasker Configurations

Tasker
Level

Valid
Configurations

1

2 legs, 2 arms

2

2 legs, 2 arms / 4 legs

3

2 legs, 2 arms / 4 legs / 2 legs, 4 arms / 4 legs, 2 arms

4

2 legs, 2 arms / 4 legs / 2 legs, 4 arms / 4 legs, 2 arms / 2 wheels
/ 2 wheels and 2 arms

5

2 legs, 2 arms / 4 legs / 2 legs, 4 arms / 4 legs, 2 arms
/ 4 wheels / 4 wheels and 2 arms / Profession or Craft skill, 2 legs, 2 arms
/ Profession or Craft skill, 2 legs, 4 arms

Special Thanks

We would like to thank the following members of the Wizards of the Coast online community for their contributions to this article; A_Microwave_Oven, Andon Scott, AntiDjinn, Blasphemus, Clell, Crossover_Chronicler, Dark Psion, Dartanel, Dr_Draco, Elockloran, Eric_of_Thay, Jaazaniah Cole, JLXC, Kobold Avenger, PainInTheBrain, Paradoxial, PenguZ, PSIandCO, Recluce, SeveredHead, Slagger the Chuul, Taelin Darkwood, Tankus, Terralor, Thramzorean, TimeWaster, and ZUL.


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