In the tradition of the Expanded Psionics Handbook,Magic of Incarnum presents an alternative to conventional magic and grants access to a new source of power. Characters of all classes can experience incarnum through feats, spells, psionic powers, and prestige classes, while incarnum-wielding standard classes such as the incarnate and the soulborn allow players to take full advantage of incarnum's amazing properties.
This month the Mind's Eye takes a look at the soul manifester, a new prestige class based on the soulcaster and sapphire hierarch from Magic of Incarnum. We also bring you five new soulmelds with a decidedly psionic flavor.
As with soulcasters, soul manifesters have learned to incorporate soul energy into their other abilities, though in this case the abilities are psionic in nature instead of arcane.
Becoming a Soul Manifester
Psions and wilders that who also learned the secrets of incarnum are the most common candidates for the soul manifester prestige class. Most chose the path of incarnate to aquire the necessary meldshaping ability, but occasionally a high-level soulborn with levels in psion or wilder also elects to pursue this path.
Since the soul manifester is primarily psionic in nature, a high Intelligence score (psion) or high Charisma score (wilder) is of paramount importance. A high Constitution score maximizes the number of soulmelds that can be shaped, and a high Wisdom score ensures high save DCs against the offensive effects of those melds.
Skills: Knowledge (psionics) 8 ranks.
Both your manifesting and meldshaping abilities continue to grow as you attain higher levels in the soul manifester prestige class. Your powers also become stronger because you gain more essentia to invest in your powers and in incarnum feats that affect your powers. Eventually, you learn to transform your power points into temporary essentia boosts, thereby maximizing the utility of your soulmelds.
All of the following are class features of the soul manifester prestige class.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: You gain no new proficiencies with weapons, armor, or shields.
Meldshaping: At each soul manifester level, you increase your meldshaper level, the number of soulmelds you can shape, the number of chakra binds you can create, and your essentia pool as if you had gained a level in a meldshaping class to which you belonged prior to gaining the soul manifester level. You do not, however, gain any other abilities of that class, such as new tiers of chakra binds. If you had more than one meldshaping class before becoming a soul manifester, you must decide to which class to add each level for the purpose of determining your essentia pool, meldshaper level, and number of soulmelds and chakra binds available.
Manifesting: At each soul manifester level, you gain additional power points per day and access to new powers as if you also gained a level in any one manifesting class to which you belonged before adding the prestige class level. You do not, however, gain any other benefit you would have gained (bonus metamagic, metapsionic, or item creation feats, psicrystal special abilities, and so on). If you had more than one manifesting class before becoming a soul manifester, you must decide to which class to add each level for the purpose of determining power points per day, manifester level, and powers known.
Psionic Investment (Su): Beginning at 1st level, you can invest essentia in your psionic powers to make them more powerful. At the same time that you shape your soulmelds, you can choose to invest 1 point of essentia in any single power that you know. At any time in the next 24 hours, you can choose to use that invested essentia when you manifest the chosen power. Doing so requires no action, but both the manifester level and its save DC increase by 1. Once so used, the essentia returns to your essentia pool and can be invested into soulmelds or other effects.
As you attain higher levels, the number of powers you can invest with essentia in this manner increases. You can affect a number of powers equal to your soul manifester level, and you cannot invest essentia in the same power more than once -- that is, you can't invest essentia in two manifestations of the same power at a given day, even though you can manifest that power more than once per day.
This process is not the same as investing essentia in a power as part of its manifesting (see Magic of Incarnum page 52). If you use your psionic investment ability to affect a given power, you can also invest essentia in it as part of its manifesting if the power allows it, but the two essentia investments are separate.
At 7th level, you can invest up to 2 points of essentia in each power rather than only 1. A 2-point investment boosts the power's manifester level and save DC by 2 each for a single manifestation.
Chakra Binds: As you attain higher levels, you can bind your soulmelds and magic items to your chakras, gaining new powers based on the combination chosen. At 3rd level, you can bind your soulmelds or magic items to your least chakra (crown, feet, and hands), in addition to any other chakras you have available. When you attain 8th level, your lesser chakras (arms, brow, and shoulders) become available for chakra binds.
Psionic Distillation (Su): At 10th level, you can use your power points to augment your essentia pool. By paying a number of power points equal to the base cost to manifest the highest-level power that you know, you gain points of essentia equal to that power's level for 1 round. This essentia can be invested or otherwise used as normal, but it disappears at the start of your next turn. This ability is usable once per round as a free action.
The Soul Manifester Hit Die: d4
Class Skills (2 +Int modifier per level): Autohypnosis, Concentration, Craft, Knowledge (psionics), Knowledge (religion), Knowledge (the planes), Profession, Psicraft
Playing a Soul Manifester
Because this prestige class follows so closely the soulcaster prestige class, see Magic of Incarnum (page 143) for more information on playing this prestige class.
Although Magic of Incarnum offers a considerable amount of soulmelds, we thought you might enjoy these five new soulmelds with a decidedly psionic flavor.
You form vambraces from ectoplasm, and their shimmering silver color is highlighted with glints of azure blue.
Your astral vambraces infuse you with the fortitude of an astral construct, granting you damage reduction 2/magic.
Astral vambraces are not affected by dismiss ectoplasm.
Essentia: Every point of essentia you invest in your astral vambraces increases the damage reduction by 2.
Chakra Bind (Arms)
The ectoplasm fuses closely to your arms, encasing them in silver-blue ectoplasm.
You benefit from one special ability of your choice in the Astral Construct Menu A. You can select a different ability each time you bind the astral vambraces to your arms.
Chakra Bind (Hands)
The vambraces extend down and cover your hands in ectoplasm.
You gain two slam attacks, which act as primary natural weapons. The slam attacks deal 1d4 points of damage if you are Small, 1d6 points of damage if you are Medium, or 1d8 points of damage if you are Large, plus your Strength bonus. If you use a weapon in one hand, you can use your other hand to deal a slam attack as a secondary natural weapon (with a -5 penalty on the attack roll and applying only half your Strength bonus on your damage roll).
You create a wispy veil that sparkles in the slightest breeze, but seems to vanish in stillness. When you manifest a charm or compulsion power, tendrils of incarnum writhe and sparkle, enhancing the effects.
You can pull energy into your charm and compulsion powers, reinforcing the power with the power of incarnum. While worn, you gain a +1 insight bonus on the save DCs of your charm and compulsion powers and psi-like abilities.
Essentia: For every point of essentia you invest into your charming veil, you increase the save DC by +1.
Chakra Bind (Brow)
A dim silver glow emanates from your eyes. A brief flash, visible only to you, scans across your field of vision and periodically outlines creatures and objects while continually heightening your awareness.
When your charming veil is bound to your brow chakra, you can read thoughts as per the power once per round at will. You also gain an insight bonus on Sense Motive checks equal to the number of points of essentia invested in the veil to detect others under a charm or compulsion effect. You also gain this insight bonus on saving throws to resist charm and compulsion effects targeting you.
You shape incarnum into blue-green lensed spectacles. While perched on your nose, these spectacles give you peculiar visual acuity, heightening your sensitivity to psychic details while granting you insight into the meaning and significance of those details.
With this soulmeld, you summon forth soul energy from generations of psions to grant you acuity and psychic aptitude.
While you wear the psion's eyes, you gain a +4 insight bonus on Autohypnosis, Psicraft, and Use Psionic Device checks. The psion's eyes allow you to make these checks untrained.
Essentia: Every point of essentia you invest in your psion's eyes increases the insight bonus granted by +2.
Chakra Bind (Brow)
Instead of spectacles perched on your nose, your psion's eyes appear as a third eye embedded in your forehead, and its iris glows a rich azure blue.
You can use the mindlink power at will for the duration of this soulmeld.
You craft incarnum into a red crystal mask that has sharp edges along its many facets. The crystal has an inner crimson glow that seems to intensify when near psionic energies.
Psion killers are constructs crafted to hunt and kill those who use psionics, and those deaths resonate within the incarnum. By shaping this soulmeld, totemists hope to gain the power to combat psionics -- particularly against foes armed with large number of psionic items.
You can use a detect psionics effect as the power, with a range of 10 feet. You can use this ability as often as desired, but no more than once per round (as a standard action).
Essentia: For every point of essentia you invest in your psion-killer mask, the range of the detect psionics effect increases by 10 feet.
Chakra Bind (Brow)
Your psion-killer mask binds to your forehead, and your eyes replace the red glow in the mask's sockets. Colors seem somehow more alive to your sight -- particularly the colors of psionic displays and items you know to be psionic.
When using this soulmeld's detect psionics ability, you can instantly determine the number, strength, and location of each psionic aura present as if you had been concentrating for 3 rounds. You must still make Psicraft checks as normal to determine the discipline of psionic power within each aura.
Chakra Bind (Totem)
Your face is covered in crystal facets that now grow down to your chest and shoulders. As the crystal covers your face, you can almost taste and smell the psionic energy in the air, and if you extend your crystal tongue, the air tastes sweet and strong -- almost like a liqueur.
If you hit with the ray, you deal no damage but have a chance to temporarily suppress a psionic item that the target might have. Unless you choose a specific item held or worn by the target (such as "the sword he holds" or "his third eye"), you affect psionic items in the following order: shield, armor, helmet, item in hand, cloak, stowed or sheathed weapon, bracers, clothing, jewelry (including third eyes), and anything remaining.
To suppress the item, you must succeed on a meldshaper level check (1d20 + your meldshaper level) against a DC of 11 + the psionic item's manifester level. Success means that the item's psionic properties are suppressed for 10 minutes.
You can also use this ability to suppress a specific soulmeld temporarily, but you must specify the soulmeld to be affected; otherwise you affect a psionic item instead. Use the soulmeld's meldshaper level as its manifester level.
A necklace of turquoise crystals fits around your neck. The crystals shed a faint glow that increases in brightness when you manifest a damaging power.
Drawing upon soul energy of those using psionics, meldshapers who manifest psionic powers can use the incarnum energy to intensify powers that cause harm to others.
You shape incarnum into a periapt or other trinket, known as a psychic focus, which you then wear about your neck. When you manifest a psionic powers that deal damage, your power's damage is increased by 1 point. Powers that divide their damage among multiple targets, such as energy burst, deal the extra damage to each affected target.
This soulmeld does not affect powers that do not deal damage.
Essentia: Every point of essentia you invest in your psychic focus increases the damage by 1 point.
Chakra Bind (Throat)
Barely visible wisps of incarnum writhe from your psychic focus, and these tendrils of soul energy twist into psionic glyphs as you manifest psionic powers. When you manifest a damaging power, the power is accompanied by a blue-green burst of raw incarnum energy.
The energy behind your offensive powers can temporarily overcome your opponents. Whenever you manifest a power that deals damage to a single living creature, that creature must succeed on a Fortitude save (using the soulmeld's save DC, not the power's) or be dazed for 1 round. If the power deals damage to more than one creature, or if the target creature takes no damage from the power (whether because of a successful saving throw, power resistance, or resistance to the damage dealt by the power), this has no effect.
About the Authors
Mark A. Jindra has been a fan of Dungeons & Dragons for over 25 years. In 1998 he landed his dream job as a web developer for Wizards of the Coast and is currently the developer of the D&D website.
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