The Players Handbook II introduces us to expanded classes, which is a way to enhance the basic classes of D&D. In this series, we present some expanded class options for the base psionic classes detailed in the Expanded Psionics Handbook.
Expanded Classes: Psychic Warrior
You are a warrior in both mind and body, combining physical precision with mental discipline. You realize that just wielding a sword doesn't make you a warrior -- you must be the weapon, body and soul. You have learned to draw upon a power within yourself, some call it psionics, others call it ki or chi, but by whatever name you call it, that power sets you apart from other fighters. You can do things others only dream of; run across walls, summon weapons to your empty hand, and enhance your strength and endurance when you really need it. You have learned to combine your combat skills with your powers, creating very unique fighting styles. You tend to be very creative in your tactics because you can do things others cannot. And perhaps because of that creativity, you also maintain a very optimistic attitude because you know there are always options yet undiscovered.
Suggested Backgrounds (choose one):Ascetic, Drifter, Gladiator, Mariner, Noble Scion, Soldier, Tribal Origin.
Suggested Personality Archetypes (choose one): Agent, Challenger, Crusader, Daredevil, Mercenary, Renegade, Savage.
One or more of the following character themes could apply to you.
Armory: With you, it is all about the weapons -- and not just the ones you carry. You can summon weapons right to your hands with a thought. You also use powers to enhance your weapons, infusing them with fire, poison, or even stygian darkness. You may focus on a specific type of weaponry or may choose to master as many weapons as you can. For example, as an archer, you might seek out exotic new ranged weapons to learn. You have a tactical mind, always examining the world from a strategic point of view of strength and weakness. You are also a craftsman, and you forge most of your own weapons, including those with psionic power sleeping within them.
"You are only as strong as your steel, and it lies broken at your feet."
Defender: You live to protect your home village, a traveling caravan, or a specific person. You think and fight defensively and do not have a problem with retreating if it saves lives. Your powers are also built to defend, and you use them to armor yourself so that you can defend those you love. You also have a code of conduct and tend to expect others to follow it as well. You wear the strongest armor and carry a big shield with you and tend to hide your emotions as well, as if your personality was something to be shielded as well.
"Everyone behind me! Don't worry, I can handle this."
Feral Fighter: You tap into the power of the beast within you. You draw upon an affinity for animals and grow claws, razor sharp teeth, and even move like an animal, pouncing on your enemy. You may have a totem animal, one with whom you most identify. You trust your instincts and intuition over logic and you make decisions based on experience instead of book-learned knowledge. You often feel more comfortable with animals than with people. You may have come from a tribal origin or just grew up on a farm, or perhaps you went feral when you were forced to survive in the wilderness all on your own.
Ki Warrior: You favor power over technique, showing off with great displays of flashy power. You grow to the size of a giant, move with blinding speed, or emulate a dragon's breath. Your fighting style incorporates your unusual powers so that you always keep your opponents guessing. You are a very imaginative person, coming up with unusual solutions to problems. Okay, they may not always work as you plan, but you have another, even better idea for any complications that result from your current plan.
"By the Breath of the Black Dragon, I will defeat you!"
You have unlocked access to a single psionic mantle.
You can summon a specific weapon to your hand that is bound to your very soul.
At 2nd level, you gain the soulbound weaponclass ability, and the weapon you summon using call weaponry is of the same type as you chose at 1st level. Its physical appearance slowly changes, growing in power as you do. You must manifest the power call weaponry to obtain your soulbound weapon; you retain the weapon for the duration of the power. You may still use the call weaponry power as normal if you wish. This is a specific weapon every time you summon it, and it automatically gains a weapon enhancement at the following levels:
Also, add the following augmentation to your call weaponry power:
Augmentation: When you manifest your soulbound weapon, for each additional 5 power points you spend, you may add a weapon enhancement of +1 value to the weapon. For example, if you spend an additional 10 power points, you could add two +1 weapon enhancements or a single +2 weapon enhancement.
Package 1: The Vanguard
Package 2: The Archer
Package 3: The Feral Fighter
Expanded Classes: Soulknife
You are an enigma to others. On one hand your focus is such that you can forge a weapon from your very will alone, but when you wield your mind blade, you become more grandiose and flamboyant, showing off your skill and power. You are very confident in the face of danger, perhaps because your mind blade is only a thought away, but you rarely lose your temper or give into fear. Most do not understand that your mind blade is truly a part of you -- often its color and shape reflects your mood at the time of its manifestation.
You tend to approach combat differently than others; your weapon is always at hand and if you are disarmed, it will reform a moment later. You do not need to forge a weapon for each enemy you face, because your mind blade can be manifested in different forms with a variety of enhancements. You also find it amusing that your companions must leave their weapons behind, but you know yours can never be taken away from you.
There are two class abilities below. One is a common house rule that provides the soulknife with a little more psionic flavor and makes each soulknife you encounter unique. The other replaces raw power with skill and technique, which also allows for much greater customization of character.
Suggested Backgrounds (choose one): Ascetic, Gladiator, Noble Scion, Soldier.
Suggested Personality Archetypes (choose one): Agent, Challenger, Mercenary, Royalty, Simple Soul, Strategist, Wanderer.
One or more of the following character themes could apply to you.
Bodyguard: All nobles have many servants: aides to dress them, ladies in waiting, and a multitude of cooks, guards and other hired specialists. But what if one was actually a guard who can summon a weapon with a thought? You live to serve; perhaps you guard the heir to a noble house, serve as a courier, or are a spy sent to watch an enemy. There are several ways for you to become an adventurer, especially if your charge decides to seek adventure. You may have to follow to keep him or her safe. You are not flamboyant, and you do not wish to outshine your charge or bring shame to your employer. You are serious about your duty -- honor is everything to you. Alternatively, you may have already failed in your duty and now wander in search of redemption or forgiveness.
"You will never get close enough to touch my lady!"
"Why do I wander? Why do I risk danger? Because I failed her."
Duelist: You do not skulk in shadows or meditate on mountains. You were trained in the dueling circle to be a master of combat and the epitome of style, and perhaps one day you can establish your own dueling school. You may want to use the "bonus feat" alternate class feature so that you can use your mind blade with much greater versatility. There are as many techniques as there are schools of combat and the individual styles can vary greatly. Perhaps you are a weapon master, altering your mind blade into different forms. Or maybe you prefer a finesse approach, fighting under a cloak and disarming those with metal weapons.
"Shall we postpone our duel until you learn which end of your sword to hold?"
Hunter: You may be a bounty hunter, a tomb raider, a monster slayer, or just an assassin. You may walk into a bar room, apparently unarmed, and demand the surrender of the toughest man there, waiting to see the look on his face when your mind blade manifests and grows to bastard sword size under his nose. You recognize the value of tactics and knowledge, so you plan ahead, learning all you can about your target's weaknesses so that you can exploit them with your mind blade's enhancements.
"I know you will not listen, but I will ask you to surrender your weapons and come peacefully or I will have to hurt you."
Mercenary: Your loyalty depends on the person has the most gold. You travel the land from one job to another: a caravan guard last month, and a bar room bouncer this month. Maybe next month you will rob that very caravan you previously guarded. From time to time you join adventuring parties if they appear to be competent and have a line on some good treasure.
"First you say where, then I will tell you how much."
"Yes, you paid me well, but he paid me more."
Your psionic talent is strong enough to manifest a single power.
Benefit: You gain the Hidden Talent feat instead of the Wild Talent feat at 1st level (see Expanded Psionic Handbook, page 67). You gain 2 psionic power points, can now learn any psionic feat for which you meet the prerequisites, can expend your psionic focus, and can gain a single 1st-level power from any list.
Special: Normally the Hidden Talent feat can be taken only once at 1st level, but a soulknife with this class ability can take this feat multiple times, each time gaining an additional 2 psionic power points and another 1st-level power.
The most common powers chosen with this class ability are force screen and inertial armor since they fit the theme of a soulknife, but many choose other powers.
You sacrifice power for skill and technique.
Benefit: In place of the psychic strike class ability, you gain a bonus feat at each level above. You may choose any feat designed for soulknives (such as those in Complete Psionic) or any feat that your mind blade can benefit from, such as Power Attack or Improved Critical (also see the mind blade feats in Dragon Magazine #341 in the "Class Acts: Adventurer" article). You must meet any prerequisites for the feat you choose.
Package 1: The Skulk
Package 2: The Duelist (using the hidden talent class ability)
Package 3: The Hunter
Expanded Classes: Wilder
Most who develop psionic power master it through discipline and meditation, but you are not like most people. You never had any formal training; you didn't even know it was called psionics until recently. You had to find your own path, letting your emotions fuel your power and trusting your instincts and intuition to guide you. You have learned that strong emotions do not hinder psionic power, but can actually boost it in ways other psychics never dream of, although there is a risk of being overwhelmed by your own power and emotions. As might be expected, you are a very emotional person; to reign in your feelings would reduce your power and you cannot allow that. You never do anything in moderation; it is all or nothing for you. And due to your overachieving personality, you do not like to be outdone by anyone. You believe that any problem can be overcome with psionic energies, though perhaps you use them a bit excessively in some situations.
Suggested Backgrounds (choose one):Artisan, Drifter, Gladiator, Guttersnipe, Mariner, Tribal Origin.
Suggested Personality Archetypes (choose one):Challenger, Daredevil, Explorer, Martyr, Orphan, Rebel, Savage, Trickster, Wanderer.
One or more of the following character themes could apply to you.
Destroyer: You are an angry person, quick to take offense and quicker to strike out at people. Even you do not fully understand why you have so much anger, but you have learned to harness it and unleash it in a fury of psionic energy. You are well known to be a "loose cannon," often leaving destruction in your wake, but also making a definite impression on, and in, the world around you. You may be a mercenary for hire, an enforcer for a guild or noble, or just a time bomb waiting to go off.
"You won't like me when I'm angry. You probably won't like me when I'm happy either."
Pretender: You know what you do is not magic in any form and that scares you, but you don't know why. Your mom and dad told you to keep it secret. You might be in trouble if "they" found out about you. So you hide what you do by pretending to be something else. Sometimes you sing and tell tales like a bard; other times you just blast your enemies while mumbling nonsense like a sorcerer. And while you do on occasion ask yourself why you hide, you can't help it. It is fear that drives your powers and your personality, so you continue to hide in one disguise after another and move from one town to another.
Professional: Your life is defined by what you do, and your powers are based around that theme. As an artist, you might use creation powers, or, as a con-artist, charms and compulsions. For you it is passion for your profession that drives you and fuels your power. You are one of the best at what you do and that knowledge only makes you better. Of all wilders, you are the most likely to discover and use a psionic mantle.
"It is not quite finished yet, so please delay the goblins for a few more minutes."
Survivor: If it was not for your powers, you would not be alive today. Death was at your throat, but from somewhere deep inside you, power erupted to save your life. But the incident left you scarred body and soul. You are always alert for danger, almost to the point of paranoia. You always take note of the exits and hazards in a room; you have several survival kits prepared and possibly a few safe houses set aside. Also, you always keep a potion of healing in your pocket.
"Please leave that window open, just in case. . . ."
Wild Psychic: Perhaps if you had a tutor, you might have been a psion. If you had known what psionics was, you could have been a psychic warrior, but you had no teacher, and no idea of what was within you. You knew only that you had strange powers deep within yourself and had to trust your instincts on how to use them. You have a very mercurial personality, trusting everything to instinct and first impression. And while you may be wrong often, you are still alive due to your intuition. You also push yourself to your limits, having learned that survival is often found at the edge of exhaustion.
"I don't think I like you, so go away!"
You have had formal psionic training.
Benefit: You have received some formal psionic training and as such, you have unlocked psionic powers most wilders never dream of. You gain the Expanded Knowledge feat at all of the above levels. But due to the training involved, your mind is not as untamed as most wilders and you lose the defensive ability volatile mind.
Your focus allows you access to a psionic mantle.
Benefit: You gain access to a single psionic mantle from Complete Psionic. You replace the elude touch class ability at 2nd level with the mantle's granted ability and gain access to the powers on the mantle list. In fact you must take those powers at your first opportunity. If you chose the Creation mantle, you would have to learn astral construct and minor creation at 1st and 2nd level, for example. You are free to choose all other powers from the psion/wilder list.
Package 1: The Pretender
Package 2: The Professional
Package 3: The Destroyer
©1995-2008 Wizards of the Coast, Inc., a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc. All Rights Reserved.